Your Voice Your Vote 2022

Kansas 2022 primary election results: Anti-abortion amendment projected to fail

The state was the first to vote on abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

ByABC News
August 2, 2022, 10:42 PM

The ability to access abortions in Kansas is not changing.

ABC News projects that voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have specified "Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion."

It was the first popular vote on abortion rights in nearly 50 years -- and the first since the demise of Roe v. Wade. In reversing Roe in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion should be left to individual states.

A "yes" vote to approve the Kansas amendment would have effectively overridden a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling and would have cleared the way for GOP super-majorities in the Kansas legislature to enact more stringent abortion restrictions.

A "no" vote keeps the status quo, preserving Kansas as what advocates describe as an abortion rights refuge in a region where bans on the procedure have proliferated.

Kansans on Tuesday also voted in primaries for governor, secretary of state, the House and Senate, state attorney general, state treasurer and the state legislature on Tuesday. Polls closed at 9 p.m. ET.

On Friday, Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab predicted that roughly 36% of Kansas voters would participate in the primary election -- a higher number than past cycles.

Schwab's office said the constitutional amendment about whether or not to bar abortion access had increased voter interest in the election.

State Significance

Many viewed the Kansas abortion vote as a bellwether on the issue after the Supreme Court majority's decision reversing Roe.

The state's gubernatorial race and the contest for its 3rd Congressional District seat were also shaping up to be competitive.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is running for reelection and is projected to have easily defeated primary opponent Richard S. Karnowski.

PHOTO: Laura Kelly, governor of Kansas, speaks during a ceremony unveiling a statue of Amelia Earhart in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 27, 2022.
Laura Kelly, governor of Kansas, speaks during a ceremony unveiling a statue of Amelia Earhart in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 27, 2022.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

In November, Kelly is projected to be opposed by Republican Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in a state that narrowly elected her in 2018 before voting for Donald Trump by an even larger margin two years later. (Schmidt faced an opponent Tuesday, too: Republican Arlyn Briggs.)

Kelly has raised millions of dollars. Between January and July, Schmidt has also brought in more than $700,000 and has about $1.5 million on hand.

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