County certifies primary results following state treasurer’s race
The 2022 Dickinson County Primary Election finished up Thursday after commissioners reviewed
and certified tally sheets from the Aug. 16–17 recount of the Republican race between Steve
Johnson and Caryn Tyson for state treasurer.
Tyson had asked for a hand recount in six Kansas counties, including Dickinson.
Johnson, who won the state and county race during the Aug. 2 primary, prevailed again during the
local hand recount, receiving 2,898 votes to Tyson’s 1,428.
Of those, Johnson had 356 early votes (people who walked into the Dickinson County Courthouse
to cast ballots before the primary) and Tyson had 174 votes. In advanced votes that were mailed
in, Johnson had 155 to Tyson’s 65. The mail in ballots had to be postmarked by Aug. 2 and
received in the county clerk’s office by Aug. 5.
At the polls on election day, Johnson received 2,387 votes to Tyson’s 1,189.
Dickinson County Clerk Jeanne Livingston said the county’s counting board was comprised of five
people, both registered Republicans and Democrats – three of the people served on the county
board for the election, plus two additional people.
Commission Chairman Lynn Peterson asked how much the recount would cost the county.
Livingston said the amount will be less than expected because only one race was counted.
“We thought we were going to have to recount the treasurer’s race and the (Constitutional
Amendment) question,” Livingston said.
The first day of the recount was paid by the Tyson campaign at a cost of $356.88. The cost for the
second day was split between the state and the recounting county so it will cost Dickinson County
$191.19, Livingston said.
Dickinson County Commissioners met to canvass the Aug. 2 election on Friday, Aug. 12. All
Dickinson County races had the same outcome, but some numbers changed slightly.
Of the 150 provisional ballots cast locally during the election, 84 were counted.
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about the voter’s eligibility
that must be resolved before the vote can be counted.
Livingston said most of the ballots that were not accepted was due to being late or the person was
not registered to vote.
Five mail-in advance ballots were accepted since they were postmarked by Aug. 2 and received in
the clerk’s office by Aug. 5. Seven UOCAVA ballots also were accepted. Those ballots are mailed
out to servicemen and women serving overseas.
Commissioners counted 17 ballots during the canvass with write-in votes.
Dickinson County had 48.3 percent voter turnout for the Aug. 2 primary.
“Our voter turnout was much higher than expected,” Livingston said. “Seventeen to 20 percent is
normal for a primary.”
Turnout was so high in some precincts that poll workers ran out of ballots. That meant ballots for
those specific precincts had to be printed off by the Dickinson County Clerk’s staff and driven to
the affected polling sites, causing some voters to wait until ballots arrived.
Livingston said this was only the second time this situation has occurred during her 16 years
working for the Dickinson County Clerk’s office.
Livingston was elected county clerk in December 2021 by a convention of Dickinson County
Republican Committeemen and women, following the retirement of long-time clerk Barb Jones.
She ran unopposed during the Aug. 2 primary.
Due to the delay at some polls, voters have questioned why the county doesn’t have a ballot ready
for every single voter. The reason is simple: Money.
With 13,708 registered voters in Dickinson County, it would cost more than $38,000 to print a
ballot for every voter, Livingston said, “And we’d end up throwing half off them away.”
That’s because many registered voters do not vote in every election – especially in a primary.
“We have an average and based on that average, turnout in a primary is usually 17 to 20 percent.
However, we knew with the Constitutional amendment and the (John) Barker (Scott) Hill 70 th
District House race that turnout would be higher,” Livingston said. “So, we upped the number of
ballots we print for a 50 percent turnout — which is high, especially since the Secretary of State’s
office was predicting 36 percent turnout,” Livingston continued.
“Where we got into trouble was in precincts that had 78 percent turnout, but some only had 30
percent turnout,” she explained. “So those precincts with the high turnout were the ones where we
were short of ballots.
“We had more than enough ballots, but they weren’t always for the right place,” Livingston added.
Approximately 700 ballots — which were printed when precincts ran out of ballots that could run
through the vote counting machine — had to be hand-counted when they came in from the voting
sites after the polls closed at 7 p.m. on Aug. 2.
The hand counting continued until 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Ballots were locked up and the
next morning, election workers returned and resumed counting.
“It took 18½ hours to hand count about 700 ballots,” Livingston noted.
Livingston said Kansas elections are very secure.
The state utilizes a centralized voter registration system known as ELVIS (Election Voter
Information System). Livingston said that in order for staff to use the system they first must
undergo a background check, must provide two passwords and complete other requirements.
When new county residents register to vote, they must show their photo identification and provide
other information. Once the information is entered into the ELVIS, a card – known as a notice of
disposition – is sent to the new registered voter.
If that card is returned in the mail, a staff member from the clerk’s office will contact the voter to
determine why that occurred.
“The name is not added to our rolls until we can verify it’s validity,” Livingston said.
All voting machines and the counting machine are kept under lock and key except when they are
As for ballots, in order to be machine counted, they are bar coded so they easily can be read by
Ballots cast during the Aug. 2 election and all elections are locked up from the time they enter the
courthouse until they eventually are discarded two years later.
By statute, the ballots are sealed and kept for 22 months.
In the final results for Dickinson County, the Value Them Both Constitutional Amendment passed
here with 3,518 yes votes to 2,994 no votes. Statewide, the amendment was voted down.
Incumbent Ron Roller received the Republican nod for 1 st District Dickinson County Commissioner
with 674 votes, while challengers Annabelle Eaton had 454 votes and Ralph DeZago had 258.
Livingston received 4250 votes for county clerk and Rose Johns had 4174 votes for register of
In the controversial race for the Republican 70 th District House of Representatives seat, newcomer
Scott Hill had 2267 votes to defeat incumbent John Barker who had 2073 votes.