Kobach formally steps down from role as election chief amid recount

Kobach formally steps down from role as election chief amid recount
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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) officially recused himself from his role as the state's elections chief on Friday amid a recount in the state's still too-close-to-call Republican gubernatorial primary.

The Associated Press reports that Kobach, who is challenging the state's incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), sent a letter to Colyer Friday afternoon formally recusing himself from the vote-counting process.

Kobach said late Thursday in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo that he would be recuse himself from the process after Colyer accused him in a letter that afternoon of issuing guidance to state election officials “inconsistent with Kansas law" and demanded his recusal from the process.

Kobach's formal recusal comes after he initially refused to step down from his role as the state's top election official amid Tuesday's unsettled election results. 

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Kobach has maintained that he has no direct role in the vote counting as Kansas's secretary of State, but said Thursday that he would step aside during the vote count if only to appease his critics.

"There's really no point to doing it, because the secretary of State actually has no role in the counting of provisional ballots or any recount," Kobach said. "But I said if my opponent wishes me to, I'd be happy to."

"It's purely symbolic," Kobach added. "I don't think [Colyer] understands the process."

Kobach saw his lead shrink by 100 votes on Thursday in unofficial vote totals due to a discrepancy in one county's voting totals.

He is supported by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMattis defends reversing his stance on Trump's 'Space Force' Pelosi: Trump engages in racism 'constantly' Tom Steyer: Pelosi is wrong about Trump impeachment push MORE in the primary, and previously ran Trump's now-defunct voter fraud commission.