Contests for seats on the Lawrence City Commission and on the Lawrence School Board weren't drawing much interest among local voters this morning.
A Journal-World check showed that about 6.35 percent of the 36,076 registered voters in the Lawrence's 35 precincts had cast ballots by late morning.
Today's results from the J-W check are somewhat higher than a prenoon check during the March 2 primary, when 5.43 percent of city voters had visited the polls by noon. By the end of the day, 19 percent had voted.
During the 1991 city elections, when 9.8 percent of city voters had visited the polls by noon, there was 26 percent turnout by the end of the day, according to Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes.
During last November's presidential election, the noon turnout was about 28.7 percent in the city, with an 86 percent turnout at the end of the day. The noon turnout for the August primary was 8.1 percent, with a 26.3 percent turnout by the end of the day.
Jaimes was estimating today's turnout to be fairly light, somewhere between 25 percent and 30 percent.
"PEOPLE ARE kind of going through a let-down after the presidential election," Jaimes said. She said it was difficult to get people to see the importance of voting for their city and school board representatives.
Polls for today's city and school board races will be open today until 7 p.m.
Voters will be casting ballots in contests for Lawrence's city commission and school board and for Eudora's city council and school board.
On Lawrence's ballot, voters will pick three of six candidates for the Lawrence City Commission. They are Jo Andersen, Doug Compton, Bob Moody, Bob Schumm, Milton Scott and Sam Shepley. Moody, Schumm and Andersen were the top vote-getters in the primary.
Voters will pick three of the six Lawrence School board candidates. They are George Crawford, Michael Heffner, Renee Karr, Gene Ramp, William Skepnek and John Tacha. Tacha, Karr and Crawford were the top finishers in the primary.
BALDWIN VOTERS will decide two questions. One is whether to approve $8.95 million for a new high school, add classroom space at Vinland and Marion Springs, move Baldwin Middle School to the present Baldwin High School and expand Baldwin Elementary School into Baldwin Middle School. Baldwin voters will also decide whether to approve packaged liquor sales.
Perry-Lecompton school district voters will decide on a $1.5 million addition to the high school.
Poll workers around Lawrence lamented that this morning's voting was light.
Doris Quisenberry, a poll worker at Lawrence High School annex, was where about 6.6 percent of the registered voters had come in, was using her free time to knit.
"I've made a whole dishrag," she said.
EMILY PROKUP, an election judge at the First Presbyterian Church polling place, said voters were lined up outside the door when she opened the polling place at 7 a.m. However, just under 5 percent of those registered had voted by late morning.
The J-W prenoon poll check today in Lawrence showed that the lowest percentage turnout was at Allen Fieldhouse, the polling place for the 4th Precinct of the 2nd Ward, where 0.17 percent (2 of the 1,147 registered) had voted.
The highest turnout was at the Southside Church of Christ, the 7th Precinct of the 3rd Ward, where 131 voters, or 13.2 percent of the 992 registered, had cast ballots.
Another relatively high turnout was at Central Junior High School, the 1st Precinct of the 4th Ward, where 86 of the 671 registered voters, or 12.8 percent, had cast ballots.
The prenoon turnout by wards was as follows: 1st Ward, 328 voters (6.51 percent of those registered); 2nd Ward, 1,041 voters (6.04 percent); 3rd Ward, 527 voters (6.93 percent); 4th Ward, 278 voters (6.74 percent); 5th Ward, 53 voters (4.72 percent); 6th Ward, 65 voters (6.72 percent).
Jaimes said she expected the final local results to be in by between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
The ballots will start coming in shortly after 7 p.m., when the polls close. An updated tally will be kept on the races in the rotunda area on the second floor of the Douglas County Courthouse.