JoCo will count more than 11,000 provisional ballots in final election tally

The Johnson County Board of Canvassers voted to count 9,764 out of 13,273 provisional ballots for the November general election. Voters in the final hour of Tuesday's election cast ballots at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Photo credit Carlos Moreno/KCUR 89.3

The Johnson County Board of Canvassers voted to count 9,764 out of 13,273 provisional ballots for the November general election. The board also voted to partially count 1,267 provisional ballots cast on Election Day last week.

In a presentation Wednesday morning, Election Commissioner Connie Schmidt noted that the number of provisional ballots recommended to be counted is “a large number, but we’ve never mailed out 164,000 mail ballots.”

The unusually high number of provisional ballots cast this election could decide some close races, including House District 16.

Overall, the board opted not to count 2,242 provisional ballots meaning nearly 75% of provisional ballots cast in Johnson County this election will be added to the final total.

Schmidt said roughly 1,400 of the ballots that won’t be counted come from voters who weren’t registered. An additional 202 provisional ballots won’t be counted because those voters already voted in advance.

Partial ballots come from voters who went to the wrong polling place or moved within the county and had the wrong ballot.

The final vote count continues to be updated until the canvass begins, but here are the “final” numbers Schmidt provided in her presentation:

  • 151,127 mail-in ballots received and cast (92% of the 164,982 mail ballots sent out)
  • 9,764 provisional ballots cast that will be counted
  • 116,355 advance in-person votes cast
  • 72,451 votes cast on Election Day

Schmidt attributed the Johnson County Election Office’s timely tally of the ballots to the hard work of election workers and volunteers, as well as the eight drop-off boxes placed throughout the county. The drop-off boxes allowed the election office staff to begin tallying ballots as they came in.

“We had a calm Election Day because of early voting by mail and in person,” Schmidt said. “Because of all that effort and everything that was done internally here by this dynamic team of people, we were able to post polls on time and report results at 8:15, and that’s the success story of the 2020 [election].”

The canvass board comprises the members of the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. The canvass will reconvene at 4 p.m. Thursday; at that time, the canvass board will review the provisional ballots and take the final vote to certify ballots.

Below is the video recording of the meeting as livestreamed on Facebook: