The outcome of two close races in Sedgwick County could be affected after provisional ballots are counted next week.
An even tighter state House race in south-central Kansas, where fewer than 10 votes separate the candidates, also could be determined by provisional ballots, or ballots cast by voters whose eligibility was questioned.
In Sedgwick County’s 4th District County Commission race, Republican incumbent Richard Ranzau led Democrat challenger Melody McCray-Miller by 554 votes after Tuesday’s Election Day results. Ranzau had 12,021 votes; McCray-Miller 11,467.
Of the approximately 4,000 provisional ballots cast in the county, about 1,200 of them were at polling places that served the 4th District, Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman said Wednesday.
“That doesn’t mean that every ballot will have that race on it,” she said. Many polling sites are split between different House and County Commission districts, she added.
The 4th District covers parts of northwest Wichita and Sedgwick County.
In the 88th House district in east Wichita, Republican challenger Joseph Scapa had 48 more votes (2,548) than Democrat incumbent Patricia Sloop (2,500) after Tuesday night.
About 300 provisional ballots were cast in polling places that serve the 88th, Lehman said. Not all of those ballots will include the 88th race, she added.
Her office won’t know the exact number of provisional ballots that apply to those races until canvassing is done Nov. 13, Lehman said.
Each county canvasses votes to determine which provisional ballots will count in the election and to certify the results.
Provisional ballots are cast for a number of reasons, including the voter not having an ID, showing up at the wrong polling site or failing to re-register after moving.
The 4,000 provisional ballots cast in this election in Sedgwick County is about normal, Lehman said. The total represents almost 3 percent of the 140,725 votes cast in the county.
Of the 4,000, 35 of those voters showed up at the polls without an ID, Lehman said. Another 40 ballots were considered provisional because a person submitted an application for a mail-in ballot without an ID number on the form, she added.
Voters who cast provisional ballots have until the county’s canvassing board meets at 10 a.m. Nov. 13 to get the required information to the election office, 510 N. Main, Suite 101.
“But I wouldn’t recommend waiting until 10 a.m.,” Lehman said.
She said anyone who cast a provisional ballot and needs help getting an ID may contact her office at 316-660-7100.
In the House 79th District, which includes Sumner and Cowley counties, Republican Larry Alley had nine more votes (3,278) than Democrat incumbent Ed Trimmer (3,269) after Tuesday’s results, according to the results in both counties.
The Kansas Secretary of State’s results show a six-vote difference with Alley leading after Tuesday, with the discrepancy coming in Cowley County.
Cowley County Clerk Karen Madison said 100 of the 288 provisional ballots cast in Cowley were in the 79th District. Cowley’s canvassing is set for 9 a.m. Monday.
Sumner County hasn’t determined yet how many of its 141 provisional ballots affect the 79th District, said Deputy Election Clerk Erin Bohannon. Sumner’s canvassing is at 9:30 a.m. Monday.