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Archive for Monday, March 31, 2003

County officials preparing for high turnout in Tuesday’s election

March 31, 2003

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Douglas County election officials are getting ready for what could be a heavier-than-normal turnout in Tuesday's local election.

"I don't think I was quite prepared for the primary for as heavy a turnout (23.4 percent), so we took that into consideration for the general election," County Clerk Patty Jaimes, chief election officer, said Monday.

In Tuesday's election, Lawrence voters will elect four school board members and three city commissioners and will accept or reject a $59 million school bond issue.

Voting will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 45 polling places in Lawrence and another 17 polling places in Douglas County. There are 55,490 registered voters in the county.

Jaimes said local elections have drawn between 15 percent and 28 percent of eligible voters in past years.

"It could be higher than that tomorrow," she said. She said she based that prediction on the heavy turnout in the primary.

In all, 11,022 of 47,109 registered voters in Douglas County cast ballots for the Feb. 24 primary. The turnout of 23.4 percent nearly doubled the low of two years ago, when only 12.4 percent cast ballots.

"And there are political groups working hard to get people to vote in advance by mail," Jaimes said.

Advance ballots sent in by mail must be received at the courthouse no later than 7 p.m. Tuesday.

There have been 793 advance ballots mailed in and 745 ballots cast in person at the Douglas County Courthouse. Advance voting at the courthouse ended at noon on Monday.

The 1,538 advance ballots that have come in as of 2:30 p.m. Monday compares with 967 advance voting cast in local elections two years ago.

The counting of all ballots will begin after the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Results for area races in Douglas County will be posted for public viewing on the second floor of the courthouse, just outside the county commission meeting room.

World Online will post the results on ljworld.com as soon as they become available.

6News will have live election coverage of the results beginning at 7 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband's cable Channel 6.

Coverage will include live interviews at the courthouse and analysis of the results with Bob Moody, a former city commissioner, and Maley Wilkins, a former school board member.

Wednesday's Journal-World will include analysis of the local vote, interviews and results from area city and school board races and ballot questions.

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