Advance voting closes Monday with record number of ballots cast in Shawnee County
Around 40 percent of Shawnee County residents expected to vote in Aug. 2 primary
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Advance voting ended at noon Monday at the Shawnee County Election Office with around 9,000 in-person ballots having been cast over the previous two weeks, officials said.
With mail-in ballots that had arrived by Monday also counted, the number of advance voting for the Aug. 2 primary so far in Shawnee County rose to 14,019.
Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell said this year’s total of more than 14,000 advance and mail-in ballots received as of Monday afternoon is nearly three times the 2018 total of 5,703,
This year’s number is an all-time record for advanced voting in Shawnee County, Howell said.
People were lined up at the Shawnee County Election Office at 3420 S.W. Van Buren when doors opened at 8 a.m. Monday for the final four hours of advance voting, which ended at noon.
Howell said around 600 p eople cast in-person ballots on Monday morning. That number was nearly as many as an entire day when the election office was open for advance voting from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday the weeks of July 18 and 25.
Howell estimated around 38 to 40 percent of eligible Shawnee County residents will vote in the Aug. 2 primary. However, that number could eclipse 50 percent, he said.
In July, the Shawnee County Election Office said a record of more than 115,000 Shawnee County residents were registered to vote in the Aug. 2 primary.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at locations across Topeka and Shawnee County.
Those wishing to vote are prevented from wearing clothing that supports a certain candidate or issue within 250 feet of the polling place entrance.
Additionally, those with mail-in ballots may drop them off at polling places on Tuesday.
Mail-in ballots must have a Tuesday postmark and be received by Friday to count in Shawnee County election returns, Howell said.
Provisional ballots also were being cast Monday at the Shawnee County Election Office. Provisional ballots also will be available Tuesday.
Howell said typically about two-thirds of provisional ballots are allowed to be counted in the election after they are examined by a canvassing board.
Meanwhile, Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab on Friday issued a prediction on the turnout for Tuesday’s primary election.
Schwab said around 36 percent of eligible Kansas voters are expected to cast ballots in the primary.
That number is more than the 27.1 percent of registered voters who participated in the 2018 primary election, when 487,598 people cast their ballots in Kansas, Schwab said.
The 2018 primary, like the one this year, wasn’t in a year of a presidential election.
Schwab attributed the increase in numbers for this year’s primary to competitive races as well as a vote on the Value Them Both state constitutional amendment that would limit abortions in Kansas.
According to Schwab, unofficial numbers indicate there are approximately 1,950,971 million registered voters in Kansas.
Of that number, approximately 44 percent are registered with the Republican Party, while nearly 26 percent are registered with the Democratic Party.
Another 29 percent are unaffiliated with a political party but are eligible to vote on the constitutional amendment and any applicable non-partisan races in their county.
For more information, call the Shawnee County Election Office at 785-251-5900 or log onto www.voteks.prg.
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