Post-election audit in Johnson County reveals no changes in Tuesday’s election results

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Chris Ochsner/

None of Tuesday’s results changed after Johnson County completed a post-election audit Saturday, according to the county’s top election official.

Election Commissioner Fred Sherman said the audit was completed around noon Saturday after 61 workers were brought in to conduct the hand count.

“Of the 86 different contests and levels that we looked at, all of them matched exactly with our precinct results released Tuesday night,” Sherman said.

The audit was triggered as a result of the treasurer for the GOP primary. Unofficial results from the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office showed Rep. Steven Johnson ahead of Sen. Caryn Tyson by less than 1 percentage point as of Saturday afternoon.

Under a new Kansas law enacted during the last session, every county election office in the state must perform a post-election audit where ballots cast in 10% of each county’s precincts are recounted by hand.

During a press call on Wednesday, Bryan Caskey, the state’s director of elections, said the GOP primary for treasurer was the only one that met the threshold for the increased post-election audit. He said every county would also be performing the additional state-required audit of a statewide, state legislative and county race in addition to the constitutional amendment question regarding the right to have an abortion in Kansas

Johnson County, the most populated in Kansas, has 610 precincts. By state law the hand recount for the GOP treasurer primary included 61 precincts. Seven precincts were recounted by hand in the other part of the post-election audit.

The GOP treasurer’s primary race marked the closest contest of Tuesday’s election. All of the mail-in and provisional ballots had yet to be counted, meaning the margin between Johnson and Tyson could narrow or widen, though the difference was not expected to move beyond the post-election audit threshold. Mail ballots were counted through Friday so long as they were postmarked on Election Day.

Tyson, R-Parker, was first elected to the Kansas House in 2010 and has been in the Kansas Senate since 2013.

Johnson, R-Assaria, was also first elected to the Kansas House in 2010. He is the former chair of the House tax committee and currently chairs the House Insurance and Pensions committee.

Whichever candidate emerges as the GOP primary’s winner will compete against Democrat Lynn Rogers for the seat in November’s general election. Rogers was appointed to the position by Gov. Laura Kelly last year to fill a vacancy left by U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner after his successful congressional run.