About a third of Douglas County voters went to the polls Tuesday, officials said. They were lured mostly by ballot questions about marriage and school bonds.
"I think we're going to come in around the 32, 33 percent mark," Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said late Tuesday night. "I'm pretty pleased. You always wish for higher."
With 60 of the county's 67 precincts counted by 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, turnout stood at 31.6 percent of registered voters -- more than 21,000 votes cast. That doubled the 16 percent turnout for the March primary election.
Shew said the percentage was impressive, considering that voter rolls had grown in anticipation of November's presidential election, which attracted massive turnout.
As the night wore on, however, observers grumbled about the length of time needed to count the ballots.
Shew said other large Kansas counties that counted their votes more quickly were using different technologies. He said he planned to improve the efficiency of the process by the next election, in August 2006.
"We've been taking our time to make sure the tabulations are right," Shew said. "I think that's the key point."