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Judge dismisses Sedgwick County lawsuit alleging fraudulent use of ballot drop boxes

Mark Gietzen, center, staffs a table outside Wichita's lone abortion clinic to try to dissuade women from getting the procedure. Gietzen organized anti-abortion protesters during the 1991 Summer of Mercy to run for office
Madeline Fox
/
Kansas News Service
Mark Gietzen, center, staffs a table outside Wichita's lone abortion clinic to try to dissuade women from getting the procedure. Gietzen organized anti-abortion protesters during the 1991 Summer of Mercy to run for office

A longtime anti-abortion activist filed the lawsuit, alleging the ballot boxes would be used to cast fraudulent votes against the abortion amendment on the primary ballot.

A Sedgwick County judge dismissed an attempt Thursday to remove ballot drop boxes in the county.

The lawsuit was filed by longtime anti-abortion activist Mark Gietzen, who alleges the drop boxes were being used to skew election results in the upcoming vote on a state constitutional abortion amendment.

Gietzen also alleged people could use fraudulent names like “Donald Duck” and “Indiana Jones” to cast ballots collected in the boxes.

Attorneys for Sedgwick County said only 804 ballots have been collected so far via ballot drop boxes for the primary election.

After 15 minutes of deliberation, the judge dismissed the case, saying Gietzen did not have standing to sue because he hadn’t been personally damaged or injured from the use of ballot drop boxes.

Gietzen said his appeal of the ruling would depend on the outcome of the vote on the abortion amendment this Tuesday.

Kylie Cameron (she/her) is a general assignment reporter for KMUW. Before KMUW, Kylie was a digital producer at KWCH, and served as editor in chief of The Sunflower at Wichita State. You can follow her on Twitter @bykyliecameron.