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Commissioners certify election results

John Richmeier
jrichmeier@leavenworthtimes.com
County Clerk Janet Klasinski counts provisional ballots by inserting them into a machine Monday at the Leavenworth County Courthouse. The provisional ballots were counted before county commissioners certified the results from the Nov. 3 election.

The Leavenworth County results for the Nov. 3 election have been certified.

The results were certified Monday morning during a meeting of county commissioners, who were acting as the Board of County Canvassers.

Before commissioners voted to certify the results, the County Clerk’s Office counted 378 provisional ballots that previously were not included in the results. County Clerk Janet Klasinski said the votes from the provisional ballots did not change the outcome of any of the local races.

Klasinski said she is comfortable with the processes and procedures in place to protect against voter fraud in the county.

“Leavenworth County has very high integrity, and I think the voters should have a lot of trust in the results of this election,” she said.

Commissioner Vicky Kaaz said she observed the election process. She said employees of the Clerk’s Office looked at the signatures on advance ballots that were mailed back to the office.

If employees had questions about the signatures, they attempted to contact the voters by phone, Kaaz said.

Kaaz participated in Monday’s meeting by telephone. Commissioners Jeff Culbertson and Chad Schimke also participated by telephone.

Commissioner Mike Stieben was the only commissioner who was in the commission’s meeting room for the meeting. He acted as the chairman for the meeting.

Commission Chairman Doug Smith was absent and did not participate by phone.

Last week, the County Clerk’s Office conducted an audit of the votes from three precincts.

Klasinski said the audit is required by state law. The Kansas Secretary of State’s Office selected three races that were on the ballot in Leavenworth County for the audit. The Clerk’s Office randomly selected a precinct from each of the races. The ballots from these precincts were reviewed.

“Those are manually hand tallied by a group of men and women that are not my employees,” Klasinski said.

She said the results of the manual audit matched those from the machines that were used to count the votes.

Stieben said Republican and Democratic party officials also played a role in protecting the integrity of the election.

“This is all being watched and observed,” he said. “Nobody is doing anything behind the scenes because it’s all out in the open. It is being watched by both sides.”

Klasinski said voter turnout in Leavenworth County was 73.2%.

“That percentage of turnout was the highest I have seen since I have been working elections,” she said.

Some precincts in the county had a turnout of more than 80%, which Klasinski said was “pretty remarkable.”

The figure Klasinski cited for overall voter turnout in the county includes the people who voted by provisional ballots, even those whose ballots ended up not being counted.

Klasinski said there were 636 provisional ballots from the Nov. 3 election. She recommended to commissioners that 378 of the provisional ballots be counted. She said 258 did not qualify to be counted.

Of the provisional ballots that were not counted, 190 were submitted by people who were not registered to vote.

Klasinski said they will now be registered for future elections.

There also were a number of ballots not counted because the voters registered too late.

Klasinski said voter registration closes 21 days prior to an election.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

Commissioner Mike Stieben signs a copy of the certified election results Monday at the Leavenworth County Courthouse. Also pictured is County Clerk Janet Klasinski.