OLATHE, Kan. — Thousands more Kansas mail-in ballots could come in over the next few days.

The Kansas Secretary of State’s Office has already started updating results Wednesday with mail-in ballots and hand-counted tallies that weren’t included in previous unofficial totals.

In Johnson County alone, more than 41,000 mail-in ballots were issued. About 32,000 have been returned and were counted on election night.

That leaves potentially about 9,000 Johnson County votes outstanding, which in and of itself is not enough to change the outcome of the governor or attorney’s race.

“We always end up with a certain percentage that does not come back,” said Fred Sherman, Johnson County election commissioner. “Even though we mail them out, we probably will end up with 3,000-4,000 that come back more of the ones that have not been received thus far.”

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day to be eligible for counting, but they also must be received no later than three days following the election.

Because Friday is Veterans Day, a federal holiday with no mail delivery, Sherman said mail-in ballots will be accepted through Monday.

On Saturday, Johnson County will begin an audit of its election results.

Under a new Kansas law, any statewide race within 1% now requires additional hand counting to verify the election night tally.

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