Johnson County releases canvassing results, increasing Kobach’s lead

OLATHE, Kan. -- Provisional ballots in Johnson County have been counted, and it appears the Kansas Republican Party is a step closer to naming a candidate for governor.

Johnson County election officials released the results of canvassing Tuesday afternoon after counting provisional ballots cast during the primary election last week.

But in an interesting twist, just before county election officials presented the results, they added two provisional ballots to the county's totals at the last-minute during the meeting.

The county found two slips of paper that are used to verify when an unaffiliated voter chooses a party to vote during a primary election. They had been separated from the ballots, but election officials were able to match the slips of paper with ballots thanks to signatures on both.

Initially those two provisional ballots were not included, but the Johnson County Board of Canvassers voted Tuesday to include those two ballots in their count. One was a Democratic ballot, and the other was a Republican.

In all, Secretary of State Kris Kobach gained 325 votes in Johnson County, and Gov. Jeff Colyer gained 301. That brings Kobach's lead statewide to 345 votes, as of Tuesday afternoon, in the race for the GOP candidate for governor.

Although Johnson County's canvassing is now complete, several other Kansas counties are still working to certify their final results. Across the state, there were nearly 9,000 provisional ballots that have to be considered.

The possibility of legal action still hangs over this still too-close-to-call primary election. Friday is the deadline for either candidate to request a recount.