Despite a few technical glitches, election night in Kansas was a success
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Election Day 2022 is largely over. The ads have disappeared from our television screens, and signs along the road are coming down. Results have come in, and the people's voices have been heard.
Some of these results are just preliminary, as some votes are still being counted. The majority of the uncounted votes are mail-in ballots that haven't been returned yet. By law, if the mail-in ballot arrives by Monday, it must be counted.
There are more than 29,000 unreturned mail-in ballots still out there somewhere. Some won't be returned. Others will arrive sometime between today and next Monday.
Four counties had to rely on hand-counting approximately 3,000 regular ballots due to a variety of operation errors. For example, in Dickinson County, there was a problem with the placement of the tracking marks on the ballots, so they couldn't be scanned into the machine. In Ford County, there was a programming problem in a few precincts, forcing a hand-count of those ballots. And in Montgomery County, their new high-speed scanner didn't work quite as quickly as expected, delaying results.
The hand-counting situations should be completely updated on the Secretary of State's website soon. Meanwhile, although the election isn't certified until after all the ballots are counted, candidates have already either claimed victory or conceded defeat based on the numbers that have already come in. They do this with confidence, because mathematically, the ballots still waiting to be counted are highly unlikely to change any of the results. Of the outstanding mail-in ballots, nearly 14,000 are Democrat and about 8,500 are Republican.
KAKE News has also had reports of some machines in both Sedgwick and Johnson Counties highlighting a different candidate than voters selected on the touchscreens. What happened with that, and why does Kansas Elections Director Bryan Caskey insist it didn't impact any votes?
He explained that there was a problem with the calibration of the machine's touchscreen. He said that the print report at the end would have the right name, as would the print-out, which is what was actually counted.
"We've received a handful of reports. We're aware of those," explained Caskey. "Those reports are consistent with what we've experienced in previous years, largely due to the calibration issues that any type of touchscreen device has."