Archive for Monday, November 6, 2006

Voters take to polls

Close races expected today

November 6, 2006


For months, major questions have been taking shape in the political arena.

And during that time, candidates seeking elected leadership positions have provided answers to those questions.

Today, the voters get to grade those answers.

From the courthouse to the Statehouse to even the White House, voters have an opportunity to change the course of government, stay the course, or plot a course somewhere in between.

"We're talking about an election that will be very close," said Allan Cigler, a Kansas University political science professor.

"In fact, I expect a number of disputed elections because of the closeness," he said. "This may very well be an election where a handful of votes determines the outcome."

National debate

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The weather forecast calls for sunny and mild conditions with temperatures in the 70s.

On the ballot are all statewide jobs, U.S. House seats, state House seats, five State Board of Education positions, retention of one Kansas Supreme Court justice and a number of appeals court and lower court posts.

Voters head to the polls today to determine who will represent Kansas in the Statehouse and other areas. The rotunda at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka was quiet before Election Day.

Voters head to the polls today to determine who will represent Kansas in the Statehouse and other areas. The rotunda at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka was quiet before Election Day.

And while there is no presidential race this year, the war in Iraq and congressional scandals have turned this election in many regions into a national referendum on President Bush and the Republican Congress.

That debate has become evident in the 2nd congressional district, which includes west Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and southeast Kansas.

Five-term incumbent Jim Ryun, a conservative Republican from Lawrence, faces Democrat Nancy Boyda, whom he defeated handily in 2004.

On Sunday, Bush campaigned in Topeka to help Ryun as part of a whirlwind trip by the president to energize the Republican base against what some predict will be a Democratic takeover of Congress.

With the stakes this high, Republican and Democratic officials in some states have suited up for possible legal challenges to election results.

But in Kansas, state Democratic Party officials downplayed the possibility of legal fights.

Reader poll
Will you vote today?

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"We're prepared to deal with whatever comes up, but we're not anticipating having to go to court," said Frances Gorman, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Democratic Party.

She said stories of possible legal fights serve only to lower voter participation because it may frighten some voters away from the polls.

Kansas Republican Party officials did not return a phone call for comment.

Paper ballots here

On the local level, election officials didn't anticipate any legal problems.

In Douglas County, election officials say if you have voted before in the county, there is no need to have identification with you to vote. But county elections deputy Keith Campbell said just for insurance, voters should carry identification.

New voters to Douglas County may be asked to show a form of identification with current address, which could include a driver's license, passport, student ID or water and utility bill, he said.

Douglas County voters will vote on paper ballots. Campbell said the county hasn't gone to the electronic machines because of ballot security concerns.

The paper ballots will be placed in scanners where the vote will be recorded, he said.

Campbell said voters can look at sample ballots and get more information on voting by going to

Turnout predictions

State election officials say about half of the state's 1,663,017 voters will cast ballots. That participation rate ranks similarly to other recent presidential mid-term elections in 2002 and 1998. One out of every five expected voters have already voted in advanced voting.

Of the state's registered voters, 763,992 are Republican; 446,538 are independent; 441,833 are Democrat; 9,191 are Libertarian; and 1,463 are Reform.

The 10 most populous counties make up 65 percent of the vote. Those counties are Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Douglas, Reno, Leavenworth, Saline, Butler, and Riley.

In Douglas County, there are 76,737 registered voters.


my2cents 11 years, 4 months ago

I voted today.

But the real joy on election day comes from knowing I won't have to watch/listen to another political ad,(democrat, republican, reform, whatever) for 2 years.

Peace will return to the TV, Radio, and my telephone.

Bill Smith 11 years, 4 months ago

Aside from making the ultimate sacrifice for your country, voting is the most patriotic thing you can do as a citizen of the United States America.

susanwagle 11 years, 4 months ago

Vote today, I know Lawrence will support any republican running.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 4 months ago

The working title for this article was: "Voters take to polls like ducks take to butter."

bearded_gnome 11 years, 4 months ago

should read "vote" and "stoppage," typing ahead of buffer!

I see aggie has been a busy little bee this morning.

and shelby, I wouldn't count on any attitude improvement on these comment boards. the dems are already fishing hard to gin up voting irregularitys they can sue over. they believe in lawyers not voters. this will cause much fighting and name calling.

KsTwister 11 years, 4 months ago

Our phone rang early, an automatic call from GW asking us to vote Repulican. I hung up on the President's call. I feel better already now we head to the polls.

Nikki May 11 years, 4 months ago

I don't get to vote on the Boyda/Ryun thing. East Lawrence here.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 4 months ago

ljw puts a reader poll on a voting article "are you going to vote?" preselects people interested in voting who read the article.

voting is very important to our country and gives you the right to complain, even against those you vot fore.

please consider voting for Ahner or Ryun, very good fellows who deserve to win. a vote for their opponents, moore and boyda is a vote to empower the fringie wacko left who will do nothing to fix illegal immigration, will prevent terrorist wiretaps, and who celebrated their (temporary) stopage of the Patriot Act, which keeps us safer. the Brooklyn bridge and the "library tower" (l.a.) stand because these and dozens of other plots were foiled. vote like your life, your nation, depend on it!

Shelby 11 years, 4 months ago

Maybe now the steep increase in hateful discourse we've witnessed over the past couple months will leave these boards and return to where it belongs: in China's kangaroo-human boxing matches.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 4 months ago

yes, patriotman, defender is such a kidder, I noted his sarcasm in his post to me [above] but the best part of his off-handed compliment is that he does read what I post!

bwhahahahaha! I am an eeevilll genious filling the minds of liberalville with questions, discontent and distress bwhahahahaha!

to any one reading this who hasn't yet voted, please, most sincerely, I ask you to vote. it really does matter.

I would gently ask you to consider voting for Ahner or Ryun, but however you vote, it is important. if you need help getting to the place to vote, call some one, like the republican party for example. or, a candidate's campaign whom you agree with.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 4 months ago

now, some problems with voting machines reported in MO...but note the secretary of state of Mo is a democrat!

morganalefay 11 years, 4 months ago

I played around with the precinct voter turnout maps for Lawrence this evening and I must say - what a pathetic turnout! Maybe I'm optimistic, but I really thought there would be a better voter turnout than this! Two precincts actually had 7% and 8% voter turnout respectively. That's just crazy! Why would so few registered voters go out and vote???

I would really like to hear someone who is vocal about their political opinion and apparently interested in what's going on locally (like many of you, clearly) justify not voting. PLEASE, please, please tell me why you did not vote, because I really only know people who do, regardless of political affiliation.

So...if you have voiced an opinion about national, regional or local politics, especially in the past few weeks leading up to the election and did not go out and vote, please explain why!

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