Activist Offers to Pay for Kansas Abortion Vote Recount

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An anti-abortion activist who heads a small far-right Republican group said he was offered to pay the expected $229,000 cost of a manual recount of votes from every county in Kansas after a decisive statewide vote affirming abortion rights.

Mark Gietzen, who heads the Kansas Republican Assembly caucus, told the kansas city star wants to pay the recount requested by Melissa Leavitt of Colby because she thinks it could change the outcome. However, the difference of 165,000 votes in the election makes that unlikely.

Gietzen said the fundraising and his own money would be used. The Kansas Republican Assembly is significantly to the right of the state Republican Party and is not affiliated with the GOP-led legislature.

There has been no evidence of significant problems with the election. Baseless election conspiracies have been widely circulated in the US, particularly among supporters of former President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly false claims that he lost the 2020 election due to fraud.

Kansas law requires a bond to be posted to cover the cost of the recount and if the recount changes the result, the money will be refunded.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office Whitney Tempel said Friday that Leavitt had posted $200,000 bail, but Leavitt said in postponed updates for TikTok over the weekend that bail had not yet been posted and that fundraising was in progress. Tempel did not immediately respond to messages from the newspaper and The Associated Press.

Leavitt said in a video posted to TikTok on Sunday morning that there were 24 hours left to raise money for the effort.

Earlier this month, voters in Kansas overwhelmingly rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have allowed the conservative Legislature to further restrict or ban abortion. It failed by 18 percentage points and was the first test of voter sentiment after the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in June which annulled the constitutional right to abortion.

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