Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he will recuse himself from overseeing the vote count between him and his opponent in the Republican primary for governor, incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer.
Fewer than 200 votes separate the two candidates, with Kobach holding the razor-thin edge. As Secretary of State, Kobach is in charge of state elections. But with the tally so close, Colyer has called Kobach to recuse himself. And in an interview with CNN on Thursday night, Kobach said he would, despite dismissing the act as "purely symbolic."
"There's really no point to it, but I said if my opponent wishes me to, I'd be happy to," Kobach said, adding that he will put in a formal recusal on Friday.
"But as I say it really doesn't make any difference, my office doesn't count the votes, the counties d," Kobach said.
Kobach's decision to recuse himself comes less than a day after he said he wouldn't because counties are responsible for counting votes, not his office.
But there have been reports of discrepancies in some counties across the state with Kobach's office advising those counties, prompting Colyer to make a formal request for Kobach's recusal.
"It has come to my attention that your office is giving advice to county election officials -- as recently as a conference call yesterday -- and you are making public statements on national television which are inconsistent with Kansas law and may serve to suppress the vote in the ongoing Kansas primary election process," Colyer wrote in the letter.