Kansas electors stay faithful to President Donald Trump

By: - December 14, 2020 1:30 pm

State elections director Bryan Caskey hands a presidential ballot to elector Treatha Brown-Foster. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas’ six GOP-appointed members of the Electoral College remained faithful Monday to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, supporting the majority will of voters in the state’s general election.

Unlike the drama involved with Electoral College proceedings in other states, the Kansas ceremony was held without incident in the House chamber at the Statehouse.

Kansas elector Emily Wellman says it is a great honor to cast an official ballot for President Donald Trump. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

“It’s really an honor,” said elector Emily Wellman. “It feels a lot more important than I thought it would. It’s a big deal.”

Trump carried Kansans with 771,406 votes, or 56.2% of a record total turnout. His Democratic challenger, President-elect Joe Biden, received 570,323 votes, or 41.5%.

Secretary of State Scott Schwab presided over the official vote, with his elections director, Bryan Caskey, handing out ballots.

“It’s a great honor to be able to convene the Electoral College,” Schwab said. “I’ve never been an elector, and now to get to call them together is kind of neat.”

Under Kansas law, each of the electors is entitled to $3 for the service. Schwab advised they not spent it all in one place.

Kansas Republican Party chairman Mike Kuckelman, one of the electors, declined to acknowledge Biden’s victory in the presidential race. Trump and his allies have filed dozens of lawsuits alleging fraud, all of which have been tossed out of courts.

“It’s not over until it’s over. I’m not the arbitrator of that issue,” Kuckelman said. “I’m a strong believer as a lawyer that everyone has the right to litigate any dispute that they have until they’ve had every opportunity. With that, I think we have to keep an open mind and see what steps are next taken.”

Last week, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined other Republican attorneys general in supporting a last-ditch effort by Texas to overturn the results of the election. The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to consider the case.

Schmidt said his office received more than 15,000 calls and emails urging him to get involved in the case.

“The Supreme Court decided not to become involved in the 2020 election, and the court’s decision means it is time to put this election behind us,” he said.

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the 2021 and 2022 Kansas Press Association’s journalist of the year. He has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He previously spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He is a lifelong Kansan.