WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – Two weeks after the Aug. 2 election that drew national attention for the abortion vote, some ‘Value Them Both’ supporters say they think it may have been rigged – a man so convinced he put up over $100,000 of his own money for a recount.
“Somebody had to do it. You know, I think if there was money left over from the Value Them Both committee, I think they would have done it,” Mark Gietzen said.
Gietzen is a well-known anti-abortion activist, the Kansas Republican Assembly Speaker, and the man who put nearly $120,000 on his own credit card for a partial recount of the August 2 abortion vote. .
“We couldn’t do 105 counties. All we could do was eight… [Including] the three largest counties,” Gietzen said.
Gietzen says the funds he provided will be used to pay for manual vote recounts in Crawford, Douglas, Harvey, Jefferson, Johnson, Lyon, Sedgwick and Shawnee counties.
Gietzen says his biggest concern is that the voting machines were rigged.
“What if we had this same malware? Take the No and Yes columns and activate them Value both? We do not know. At the moment, no one knows where we are on the vote,” Gietzen said.
Kansas Chief Electoral Officer Bryan Caskey said there was nothing wrong or illegal about what Gietzen was doing.
“I’m happy to do that. Again, I think anything that reinforces the integrity of our election results, I’m in favor of it. If the law allows us to, we’re happy to do that,” Caskey said. .
Caskey says the recount is already underway in many counties. Electoral Commissioner Angela Caudillo said Sedgwick County will start counting Wednesday morning.
Gietzen says no matter what the recount finds, it will always be worth the cost to him.
“I hope we did, we end up with an electoral system that people can trust. If we win the Value Them Both, that would be wonderful. But I would, I would [still] do this. I’ve done it before,” Gietzen said.
If the election results end up being nullified after the recount, the state must legally reimburse Gietzen its money, diverting the cost to each county. But with such a Vote No victory, many experts say that is unlikely to happen.