Advanced polling closes, voters turnout in record numbers

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A steady stream of voters filed into the election office, nearly 1,000 a day - Each making sure their voice was heard in a pivotal election.

Advance balloting was shutdown at noon Monday. Record numbers showed up to cast ballots in advance or sent them by mail.

“We should be pushing almost 12,000 voters in the office that have voted. We’re going to be north of probably 7,000 voter by mail,” Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell said.

Those numbers beat out the last midterm election in 2014, but is just shy of the last presidential election in 2016. With that many showing up early to cast a ballot, Howell is confident overall turnout will be up.

“We believe it’s going to be in excess of 60%. We know that they 2014 Gubernatorial Election in Shawnee County was about 59 ½%. So I’m expecting something a little bit bigger than that,” Howell detailed.

Voters like Alex and Emma Escalante say they wanted to beat the rush Election Day to make sure their vote was cast.

“You’ve gotta come out and do the job. To get out and vote. Every vote is gonna count this time,” said Emma Escalante.

Howell agrees, saying there are so many issued on the ballot and that each ballot will be influential.

“It’s your opportunity to have your voice herd as to who you want to run your government and be a part of making decisions for you,” said Howell.

Usually the Secretary of State’s Office releases voter predictions ahead of the election, but didn’t this time because Secretary Kris Kobach has recused himself from the process.

As of Monday morning statewide, 374,228 advance and mail in ballots have been cast. Compare that to 2014 at 212,573, but under the 2016 Presidential Election with 468,032. Final advance numbers will be released Tuesday.