Johnson County’s recount of abortion vote will take 150 workers and cost $75,000

Election workers at the Johnson County Election Office Tuesday sort paper ballots in order to prepare them to be recounted. Photo by Lucie Krisman.

Workers at the Johnson County Election Office on Wednesday morning will start recounting by hand more than 255,000 ballots cast in the Aug. 2 primary on a constitutional abortion amendment that was soundly defeated.

Driving the news: The Value Them Both amendment failed by a wide margin with nearly 60% of voters statewide rejecting the measure that would have stripped abortion rights from the Kansas constitution, but anti-abortion activists cobbled together nearly $120,000 to fund a recount of votes in nine counties, including Johnson County.

  • In Johnson County, the margin of defeat for the amendment was even greater with nearly 69% of voters here casting ballots for the “No” side.

How it got here: Anti-abortion activists, spearheaded by a woman from Colby, Kan., initially tried to raise enough money for a statewide recount on the abortion question — which would have cost $229,300, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.