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Archive for Monday, February 26, 2001

Officials hope for smooth primary

Careful completion of ballot advised

February 26, 2001

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A helpful tip for voters in Tuesday's Lawrence primary election for city commission and school board: Do not vote for more than three candidates.

Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes doesn't want a "Florida situation" on her hands.

During the presidential election in November, the tight race perhaps turned on improperly or mistakenly marked ballots.

It's unusual for an election to turn on such events, but Jaimes said it's "not uncommon" for Douglas County election workers to discard improperly marked ballots.

That's a particular concern in Tuesday's Lawrence primary election. Though the top six vote-getters in each race will move on to the April 3 general election, voters may cast their ballots for no more than three candidates.

Jaimes said voters sometimes are confused by the fact that they can vote for only three candidates, while six can move on. Those voters, she said, sometimes mark their ballots for more than three candidates.

And those ballots are thrown out.

"You can't determine who they wanted to vote for," or at least not their favorite three, Jaimes said.

By noon Friday, Jaimes' office had received 418 advance ballots for the primary election. She isn't expecting the polls to be packed for Tuesday's balloting.

"Historically, we've not had a real high voter turnout (for city primaries)," she said. "For whatever reason, city and school elections don't draw voters to the polls as much as a presidential election."

The candidates for city commission are: Scott Bailey, Jimmy Lee Bricker, Craig Campbell, Jennifer Chaffee, David Dunfield, Sue Hack, Erv Hodges, Marty Kennedy, Mark Lehmann, Brett Logan, Adam Mansfield and Kevin Polian.

The candidates for school board are: Greg Decker, Gordon Longabach, Nicole Rials, Linda Robinson, Leni Salkind, Kurt Thurmaier, Austin Turney and Dale Vestal.

Advance voting ends at noon today. Polls are open for regular voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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