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3 reasons why conservative Kansas voted to uphold abortion rights

Kansas vote
Field organizer Jae Grey places signs on the podium before the pro-choice Kansas for Constitutional Freedom primary election watch party in Overland Park, Kansas, on August 2, 2022. - Voters headed to the polls in the Midwestern US state of Kansas Tuesday to weigh in on the first major ballot on abortion since the Supreme Court ended the national right to the procedure in June. |

Opponents overperformed while supporters underperformed

Dave Wasserman, who covers U.S. House of Representatives elections for the Cook Political Report, reported on Twitter early Wednesday morning that the "No" vote in Kansas was on track to hit "over 90% of Biden's 2020 vote total in the state."

Meanwhile, the "Yes" is on track to hit just "over 50% of Trump's vote total."

As of Wednesday afternoon, the unofficial returns showed 534,414 votes against the Value Them Both Amendment compared to 374,611 in favor of it. A total of 908,745 votes were cast.

In the 2020 presidential election, 771,406 Kansans cast their ballots for former President Donald Trump, who ran on a pro-life platform. By contrast, just 570,323 Kansans supported President Joe Biden, who took a pro-choice stance on abortion. Comparing Biden's vote total in 2020 with the most recent available data about the number of votes against the Value Them Both Amendment reveals that the total number of votes against the amendment equaled 93.7% of Biden's vote total in the state in 2020.

The 374,611 votes in favor of the Value Them Both Amendment amounted to 48.6% of Trump's vote total in 2020. This discrepancy panned out across the state. 

In the 2020 election, only five Kansas counties supported Biden: Douglas, Johnson, Riley, Shawnee and Wyandotte. In Johnson County, the state's most populous county, the number of votes cast in opposition to the Value Them Both Amendment (166,060) added up to 90% of Biden's vote total in 2020 (184,259). At the same time, the 76,767 votes in favor of the pro-life ballot measure accounted for less than half of Trump's 2020 vote total (155,631) for Johnson County. 

In Douglas County, 36,549 voters opposed the Value Them Both Amendment, 90% of the 40,785 votes Biden received there in 2020. The 8,461 votes in favor of the constitutional amendment added up to 49% of Trump's 2020 vote total. 

In Shawnee County, home to the state capital of Topeka, 41,654 people voted against the pro-life ballot initiative, which adds to nearly 97% of Biden's 2020 vote total of 43,015. The 21,411 votes in favor of the "Value Them Both" Amendment constituted a significantly smaller share of Trump's 2020 vote total of 40,443 (53%).

In Riley County, the 11,560 votes against the pro-life ballot measure accounted for more than 90% of the 12,765 votes Biden accumulated there in 2020. Supporters of the Value Them Both Amendment only managed to secure 5,336 votes, about 46% of Trump's 2020 vote total of 11,610.

While the 22,767 votes against the Value Them Both Amendment in Wyandotte County only accounted for 62% of Biden's 36,788 vote total, the votes in favor of the ballot issue (7,964) constituted an even smaller share of Trump's 2020 vote tally of 18,934 (42%). 

In six of the seven sparsely populated counties that form the state's western border with Colorado, where Trump received 80% of the vote or more in 2020, the number of votes cast against the Value Them Both Amendment exceeded Biden's 2020 vote totals. In Wallace County, 89 people voted against the pro-life ballot measure, while Biden received just 44 votes there in 2020. In Greeley County, 153 voters opposed amending the state constitution, nearly double the 78 votes Biden locked down in the presidential election. 

The total number of votes in favor of the amendment in Cheyenne (247), Sherman (612), Hamilton (195) and Morton (202) Counties exceeded Biden's respective vote tallies of 224, 396, 141 and 150. In all six of the western counties, the votes in favor of the amendment did not come close to matching Trump's 2020 vote totals. 

In Sedgwick County, home to the state's most populous city of Wichita, former President Trump beat Biden by winning 122,416 votes to the current president's 95,870. The returns for the Value Them Both Amendment showed 81,134 votes against the ballot measure compared to 59,540 in favor of it. The "No" votes added up to 85% of Biden's vote total while the "Yes" votes supporting the amendment amount to 49% of Trump's vote total. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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