Wichita The Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged state Rep. Brenda Landwehr in the November election does not have to pay for a review of ballots that uncovered no proof of error, a judge has ruled.
Sedgwick County District Court Judge Paul Clark ruled Friday that Walt Chappell does not have to reimburse Election Commissioner Bill Gale's office for the cost of Wednesday's recount, which Clark had ordered after Chappell disputed the election.
Gale said his office spent 105 staff hours, worth $1,890, reviewing the ballots.
Chappell had claimed a statistical analysis of the results and allegations of prohibited campaigning at polling sites cast doubt on the integrity of the election, which Landwehr, R-Wichita, won with 3,411 votes to Chappell's 3,038.
The three-member recount panel found no discrepancies between electronic records from touch-screen voting machines and audit tapes that were printed inside the machines when voters cast their ballots Nov. 7. After the review, Chappell conceded defeat.