Preliminary voter registration figures released today by the Douglas County clerk show that a record number of county residents are registered for the Nov. 6 general election.
County Clerk Patty Jaimes said that 40,766 county residents are registered to vote, a gain of 7.2 percent from the 38,001 voters registered in 1986 before the last gubernatorial election.
The preliminary figures also represented a gain of 8.2 percent in registration since this year's August primary election, in which 37,679 people registered.
This year's total also surpassed the 40,574 voters who were registered at the time of the 1988 presidential election.
Official registration numbers will be available next week, she said.
Mrs. Jaimes said she was pleased with the increase in registration.
"I THINK IT'S an indication that we try very hard to make voter registration accessible, and as it continues to grow it shows that we are doing that," she said.
The figures released today show that Lawrence has 32,409 registered voters, Mrs. Jaimes said, or an increase of 7.1 percent from the 1986 total of 30,250.
Registrations of county voters living outside Lawrence totaled 8,357, an increase of 7.8 percent from 7,751 four years ago.
Both major political parties posted gains in registrations from 1986. Democrats had the largest gain, 22.5 percent, from 9,288 to 11,380 registered voters. Republicans continue their lead in registered voters in the county with 16,746, a gain of 21.9 percent from their 1986 total of 13,738.
The number of unaffiliated voters decreased 15.8 percent since 1986, from 14,975 to 12,616. And since the August primary, the number of registered Libertarians increased 50 percent from 16 to 24. The 1986 numbers did not include any other political parties.
THE TOTAL of voters eligible for Lawrence's School District 497 bond election is 34,764, and includes approximately 100 voters from Leavenworth County because the school district boundary extends beyond Douglas County. Likewise, Eudora's USD 491 totals 2,035 registered voters, which includes approximately 50 voters in Johnson County.
Both school districts have referendums for new high schools on their ballots.
Mrs. Jaimes said that she expected this year's county turnout to exceed the 61.6 percent from 1986 because of the interest in the high school bond question, the countywide vote on a bond issue for a proposed south Lawrence trafficway, Lawrence's bond vote on a proposed eastern parkway, and the various county and state races.