Sedgwick County holds vote canvassing

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Vote canvassing was held Friday morning in Sedgwick County.

Three county commissioners, Pete Meiztner, Lacey Cruse, Jim Howell, and two delegates for commissioners, whose names were on the ballot, were part of the board deciding provisional ballots.

They were presented in categories such as name changes, moved within the county, not registered in the state by the deadline, and signature changes.

Deputy Election Commissioner Melissa Schneiders says despite having 10,000 provision ballots go through, the number of recommended ballots to be counted will be less than 10,000.

This means we could soon find out the winner of the County Commissioner District two seat, formerly held by Michael O’Donnell.

If O’Donnell wins, the Sedgwick County Republican Party will be able to choose who they want in that seat. Right now Sarah Lopez leads by 125 votes.

The Sedgwick County Election Office has nearly 10,200 provisional ballots. Of those, 2000 were deemed ineligible. 

“Maybe the signatures don’t match or they forgot to sign the envelope on the mail ballot,” said Commissioner Jim Howell. 

The fate of more than 7000 ballots, still uncounted, could change the course for some races. 

“If we count 60% of those just doing simple math here, and 1/5 are district 2, that could change the outcome of that election, certainly too close to call,” said Commissioner Howell. 

“There’s an assumption that there could be enough to overturn or change a couple of results,” said Commissioner Pete Meitzner. 

“It’s still up in the air for sure,” said Commissioner Lacey Cruse. 

Commissioner Howells said once these numbers are finalized, a recount would unlikely change results, but with such a close race, candidates can ask for a recount. 

“When we have done recounts, I’ve only seen a couple of votes change because again our processes in Sedgwick County are very very good,” said Howell. 

Sedgwick County saw more early voters and mail in ballots this year, but there was a decrease in election day voters. That means these final results could create an unexpected twist. 

“There could be 1500, couple thousand in that district,” said Meitzner.

The meeting was streamed live at 8:30 a.m. on Sedgwick County Government’s Facebook page.

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