GIRARD — After a four hour canvass, the Crawford County Board of Canvassers unanimously voted to approve a hand recount due to “manifest error” for the Kansas state representative race in the 2nd district.
The fates of Republican Kenneth Collins and Democrat Adam Lusker Sr. still hang in the balance after the Crawford County Board of Canvassers voted for a hand recount for the race.
“Human error” led to inaccurate election results being published by the Crawford County Clerk’s office on election night. Results from five of the county’s 16 polling locations were counted twice, doubling votes for each candidate and resulting in inaccurate results. The results were corrected and updated later in the week.
Initial state-wide reports showed Collins defeating Lusker 4,319 votes to 4,194 votes, a difference of 125 votes. Per the county’s updated results published on Nov. 9th, Lusker defeated Collins in Crawford County, 3,184 votes to 2,450. Votes from provisional ballots counted at the canvass brought Crawford County’s votes for Lusker to 3,237 and Collins to 2,496. Giving Lusker a 741 vote advantage in the county — however he remains down district wide. It is unlikely that the results of the hand recount will affect the outcome of the race overall.
According to Kansas law, the county board of canvassers can call for a recount when, “there are manifest errors appearing on the face of the poll books of any election board, which might make a difference in the result of any election.”
Collins was present at the canvass and said he was satisfied with the accuracy of the initial results.
Election attorney Vic Miller, of Topeka, who was hired by the county to oversee the canvass, told the board that the terminology is subjective enough for the county to call for a recount if they do not have a high level of confidence in the accuracy of the initial results.
“I think it is a relatively small cost to give the public the confidence that these results are correct,” he said.
Incumbent Democrat Commissioner Carl Wood said he had fielded several calls from concerned voters.
“There are people out there that are not confident in how the election was performed at polling places,” Wood said. “I’ve heard a lot of complaints.”
The hand recount is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday morning. Crawford County Clerk Don Pyle said the recount will likely require three boards of four people per board to complete the recount in a day. Miller will also be present at the recount.
Since the county called for the recount, the county will absorb the cost. Pyle estimated the cost of the hand recount to be around $2,500.