Name drawn from a hat could decide some Sedgwick County races

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WICHITA, Kan. UPDATE--5 p.m. Monday: Canvassing will continue Tuesday in Sedgwick County as more than 200 ballots have to be counted.

"For November, we are planning on the canvassing process taking more than one day. This one took longer than we thought because we had more to count by hand than anticipated," Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman said.

Several races depend on the count, including a few precinct committee positions that were tied or one vote off. The Sedgwick County District Court Judge race between Linda Kirby and Parick Walter could be changed by the count.

Canvassing starts again at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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County commissioners met Monday morning to make decisions on whether to count questionable ballots that could eventually decide these races.

Monday morning Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman presented more than 1,300 ballots to county commissioners for them to decide whether to count them or throw them out.

The reasons they needed clarification varied from signature problems, to having no ID, to people trying vote for candidates outside of their registered political party.

The commissioners said only some of the ballots will end up being counted.

"We have over 200 ballots that we have to count by hand and that's a very slow laborious process," said Lehman.

That's where this bipartisan board comes in. The men and women are tasked with counting the ballots by hand, then checking and double checking.

And the 200 plus ballots could impact a few precinct committee positions that are tied or one vote off.

The race for State Senate District 27 and for District Judge Division 14 could also change since those races are close enough for the 200 plus hand-counted ballots to change the outcome..

"If these ballots here, provisional ballots don't change those races, then we'll literally be putting the two people's names into a hat and the commissioners will be pulling a name out of a hat to determine the winner," said Lehman.

Regardless of how the count ends up, commissioners will reconvene at 4:30 to sign off on the August Primary results.