A dozen people decided to vote early for Lawrence city commission and school board primaries on Wednesday, as advance voting began for the Feb. 25 primary.
"I think it's pretty in line with other first-day advance voting for a primary -- maybe a little better," said Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes, the county's chief elections officer.
"It kind of goes up and down the first week of advance voting," Jaimes said.
Thirteen candidates are vying for four seats on the school board. The top eight vote-getters in the primary will appear on the ballot for the April 1 general election.
The Lawrence City Commission race features 11 candidates seeking three seats on the five-member commission. The top six vote-getters in the primary will appear on the April 1 ballot.
To vote early, you must first be registered, which you can do at the county clerk's office at the courthouse, 1100 Mass. To vote, you must fill out an application for an advance ballot. After the application is filled out, the clerk's office will give you a ballot. A voting booth is set up on the courthouse's main floor for marking ballots.
Advance voting is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cutoff is noon Feb. 24.
Completed advance ballots will be counted after the polls close at 7 p.m. on election day, Feb. 25.
If you don't want to go down to the courthouse, you can apply for an advance ballot that will be mailed to you, Jaimes said.
Although only 12 people had cast ballots at the courthouse by 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jaimes said she mailed out 696 ballots to voters who want to vote in advance by mail.
That's more than the total number of people who voted by advance ballot in the 2001 city/school primary -- 672 voters, she said.
"I think they're more aware of it. But it also indicates there is some growth there too," she said.
She noted that 13 of the ballots mailed out Wednesday were Leavenworth voters who are in the 497 school districts.
Ballots she mailed out today include those being mailed to the 273 voters who live in Precincts 47 and 49, on the western edge of Lawrence.
Those precincts do not have enough voters in them to warrant the cost of setting up a polling place on election day, Jaimes said.
The other advance voting ballots were mailed to people with disabilities who are on a permanent list who traditionally have voted by mail, she said.
Advance voting is open to registered voters. Voter registration closes for the primary election at 5 p.m. Feb. 10.
You can also download an application form in pdf format, which you can submit by mail to the courthouse and receive a ballot.
To be counted, completed advance voting ballots must be received at the county clerk's office by 7 p.m. Feb. 24.