Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, August 3, 1994

LOW TURNOUT SETS TONE FOR PRIMARY

August 3, 1994

Advertisement

Like ballots, turnout at the Douglas County Courthouse for result tallies Tuesday night was sparse.

Clenece Hills stayed by the AiS 315 ballot counters instead of hovering by the chalk boards that displayed results.

A first-time candidate, she figured if she got 138 votes, she would have spent $1 a vote. She was more interested in watching election workers snip off ballot box seals, align the ballots on a "Model 400 Jogger" and zip them through the counting machines.

"I had a Japanese teacher visiting, and I brought him down here once," she said. "He was just amazed that you could be this close to the process. You can actually see them count the ballots."

There weren't many to count. Patty Jaimes, county clerk, reported a voter turnout of 23 percent. Workers were able to count the ballots in one hour, 43 minutes.

From the 10,378 ballots cast in Douglas County, Hills received 307 votes for Kansas House, 46th District. So it turns out she spent 45 cents a vote.

She was one of only a few candidates who turned out to watch the tallies as they came in. Experienced observers of election nights called the crowd sparse.

Most who did arrive -- family members and friends in tow -- had the standard election night nerves.

"We're worse than he is on Election Day," said Richard Todd, son of insurance commissioner Ron Todd. Todd was the first candidate to arrive, just after 7 p.m. "He feels the heat in the middle. It kind of levels out at the end. We feel the heat now."

Troy Findley, the local Democratic victor for Kansas House, 46th District, was there for the duration. He said he expected to celebrate some afterwards in Topeka.

"Once we recover from tonight, we begin again at noon tomorrow," he said.

Lynnette Nettles, 19, had three reasons to feel stress Tuesday.

She had to move her stuff to Manhattan, where she'll go to school this year. Her stepfather was up for election. And she wanted to vote in Lawrence before the polls closed at 7 p.m.

She made it back with 10 minutes to spare.

"It ended up good," she said, referring to a Douglas County victory for Tom Sloan, her stepfather and Republican candidate for Kansas House, 45th District.

Nettles was not the only one who got to the polls with minutes to spare.

Lea Hoover, who has lived in Lawrence for 33 years, had to work in the morning, give "nail care" to nursing home residents in the afternoon and fix supper for her husband in the evening.

She made it to the voting booth just before it closed.

"I feel like if I don't state my preference now, then I don't have the privilege to complain later," she said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.