Record number of advance ballots being cast in Shawnee County

13 News at Six
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 11:27 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With several key races and the Value Them Both constitutional amendment on the ballot, thousands of Shawnee County residents have voted both in person and by mail in advance of the Aug. 2 primary election, officials said Friday.

“Record turnout for an August primary,” Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell told 13 NEWS on Friday morning.

The surge in advance voting this year has come both from in-person voters and from those casting mail-in ballots.

Howell said that as of Thursday night, 7,060 people had cast advance ballots in person over the past week and a half at the election office, noting the numbers were “off the charts.”

He said the number of advance ballots that were cast in Shawnee County could eclipse 8,000 on Friday.

The number of people casting in-person advance ballots by Thursday already was more than double the 3,170 number from the 2018 primary election.

A steady stream of people on Friday morning were filing into the Shawnee County Election Office at 3420 S.W. Van Buren for advance voting.

Election officials told 13 NEWS that some 900 people showed up to vote in person on Thursday.

The election office had 44 voting booths to accommodate those who came to cast their ballots. No one had to stand in line to vote by late Friday morning.

In-person advance voting has been offered from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays since July 18 at the Shawnee County Election office.

Friday was the last full day of advance voting at the election office.

Those wishing to cast advance ballots will have one more opportunity after Friday. The Shawnee County Election Office will be open for advance voting between 8 a.m. and noon on Monday, Aug. 1.

Howell cautioned that the Monday before election day typically sees many people turning out to cast advance ballots and that those wishing to vote on that morning may find themselves waiting in lines.

Howell said he wouldn’t be surprised to see up to 1,000 people show up to cast advance ballots on Monday morning.

“It’ll be a challenge,” Howell said, “but we’ll get it done.”

Beyond in-person advance voters, a record number of 3,811 mail ballots had been received at the Shawnee County Election Office as of Thursday night. That number also was a record -- and more were expected to be received in the coming days.

Mail ballots must be postmarked by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Several people who turned out to cast advance ballots on Friday at the Shawnee County Election Office said they were glad they came.

“I pretty well had all the information that I needed,” said Tony Clark, of Topeka, “so decided it was a beautiful day, beautiful morning, so time to come out and vote.”

Clark gave high marks to the Shawnee County Election Office for the ease with which he was able to cast his advance ballot.

“This is wonderful,” Clark said. “Wonderful turnout. It went real smooth. They’ve got the people in there to handle all the people, and it just turned out wonderful.”

A pair of 18-year-old also took time to vote. Both said they are working in Topeka and wanted to make sure they got to cast their ballots in the primary election.

“I wanted to kind of get it out of my way,” said Sloane Castillo, of Topeka, a graduate of Hope Street Academy, “and make sure it was something I wanted to do, as well. It also was on my list for awhilie, so I was waiting until I turned 18 to do this.”

She said she turned 18 in September 2021.

Meanwhile, Emma Bauguess, also 18 and a graduate of Topeka High School, said it was “easy” to cast her advance ballot.

“I was scared to vote and never really thought I’d vote, but it was really quick. I got a little sticker,” Bauguess said, pointing to the “I Voted” sticker she had on her shirt. “So it was good.”

Those wishing to cast advance ballots or vote on election day are required to show a government-issued photo identification card -- including driver’s licenses and passports -- and are prohibited by state law from wearing partisan campaign clothing or handing out literature within 250 feet of the voting place.

For more information on Shawnee County voting places, visit

Information on voting in other counties across the state can be found at

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