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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

Thousands Of Provisional Ballots Could Impact Kansas Elections

Ho John Lee
flickr Creative Commons

There could be thousands of additional provisional ballots cast in Kansas during Tuesday's primary election because of a recent court ruling. A judge says 17,000 people who were previously suspended for not turning in a citizenship document will be allowed to vote in state and local races. They will be casting provisional ballots that county officials will hand count after the election.

There are more primaries for the Kansas Legislature this year than in many elections, and sometimes those can be decided by a small number of votes. Add in the thousands of additional provisional ballots that could be coming in and Secretary of State Kris Kobach says it’s possible the provisional votes might turn an election. It could happen, but he says it’s unlikely.

“More often than not, the provisional ballots go the same way that the rest of the ballots do. So if candidate A won the non-provisional ballots, usually candidate A wins the provisional ballots, too,” Kobach says.

Provisional ballots aren’t counted until around a week after Election Day, so if they are going to flip a close race we won’t know right away.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.