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Colyer calls on Kobach to recuse himself from providing election advice to local election officials

Posted at 5:17 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 23:08:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer called on Secretary of State Kris Kobach to recuse himself from providing election advice to local election officials. 

“Voters in Kansas who took the time to vote deserve to have their ballots counted,” Colyer said in a news release. “Advising county clerks to discard mail-in ballots that were clearly mailed by Tuesday is unacceptable and must not stand.” 

Click here to read Colyer’s full letter to Kobach. 

In the letter, Colyer says he's been told Kobach's office is giving advice to county election officials and Kobach is "making public statements on national television which are inconsistent with Kansas law and may serve to suppress the vote in the ongoing Kansas primary election process." 

Colyer requests Kobach recuse himself from advising counties about the election. He also asks Kobach to designate the Attorney General of Kansas to take over in that capacity. 

In an interview on CNN, Kobach said he would answer Colyer's request for him to recuse himself on Friday. He said that he didn't feel there was any point to recusing himself because counting is done at the county level, not in his office. However, he said if his opponent wanted him to recuse himself, he'd be "happy" too.

Colyer also wrote in the letter, "Inasmuch as you are a licensed attorney, I also want you to be comfortable that your role is consistent with Kansas Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.7(a)(2), which prohibits an attorney from giving advice in a matter in which they are personally interested." 

On Thursday, multiple vote count discrepancies were discovered.

There were 100 fewer votes for Colyer listed on the Secretary of State's website than Thomas County, Kansas reported. 

41 Action News discovered another vote count discrepancy. For Haskell County, the Secretary of State's website reports 103 votes for Colyer and 110 for Kobach. On the Haskell County website, the county clerk reports 220 votes for Colyer and 257 votes for Kobach. 

This is a developing story. Stay with 41 Action News for updates.