An anti-abortion activist in Kansas was so convinced that the August 2 vote to preserve abortion rights in the state was rigged that he used his credit card to cover the cost of a partial recount and is now over $100,000 in debt.
Earlier this month, voters in Kansas rejected the ‘Value them Both’ proposal which would have amended the state’s constitution to allow the Republican-controlled legislature to pass more restrictive abortion laws.
The measure failed by 18 points and it is unlikely that a recount will change the outcome.
However, a hand recount will occur in nine of the 105 counties after anti-abortion activist and election denier Melissa Leavitt filed the request on Friday. Leavitt failed to raise the required amount to cover the cost so prominent anti-abortion activist and the President of the Kansas Republican Assembly Mark Gietzen, pledged to help pay for the recount.
Both Leavitt and Gietzen have claimed there was fraud in the August 2 election without providing any evidence.
According to the Associated Press, Leavitt initially requested a recount in all 105 counties and proposed using Gietzen’s “financial assets” for the required bond to cover the $229,000 in costs. Gietzen even offered to use his home as collateral.
But, state Elections Director Bryan Caskey rejected that plan, saying the state would require cash, a check or credit card. Caskey also told Leavitt she could narrow her request to specific counties to lower the costs.
Gietzen then charged $120,000 to his credit card to cover the cost of the partial recount in nine counties, including five of Kansas’ most populous counties.
“Somebody had to do this. You know, I think if the Value Them Both committee had money left, I think they would have done it,” Gietzen told KAKE News.
“What if we had that same malicious software? Taking the No and the Yes columns and switching them on Value Them Both? We don’t know. Right now, nobody knows where we’re at on the vote,” he added.
He said no matter what the recount finds the cost would be worth it.
“I hope that we have, we end up with an election 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 already did it,” Gietzen said.
The AP noted that in the nine counties doing the recount, the margin of victory was 31 percentage points.