Archive for Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Lawrence turnout strong

Problems reported at some polls across town

November 7, 2006, 8:43 a.m. Updated November 7, 2006, 1:29 p.m.


It's not unusual to hear about bugs in electronics. But a real creepy crawler was the culprit that messed up a ballot scanner this morning at a Lawrence polling place.

"We had an actual bug crawl in the scanner," said Keith Campbell, Douglas County's deputy of elections.

"It was like a June bug . . . a beetle," Campbell said. "The bug prevented the ballots from going into the scanner. . . . What happenned was we had to dig that bug out."

Once it was out, ballots could be scanned again at the polling place, which was at the United Way Building, 2518 Ridge Court, the polling place for voters in Precinct 32.

The bug appeared on a day of strong voter turnout across Lawrence.

"So far, it seems like we're seeing some really good numbers," Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said this morning. "Everybody is reporting very brisk business."

Poll workers agreed. Ruth Lichtwardt, working at the Lawrence Senior Center, said turnout was good.

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"Better than usual," she said. "More people. We had six, eight people standing in line ready to vote before 7 a.m. Last time we didn't have any."

At Checkers, 23rd and Louisiana, nearly 140 people had voted by noon - up from 87 for the whole day at that site during the August primary.

Shew is expecting a countywide voter turnout of about 55 percent, but said it likely will top 60 percent in areas of the county that include the 2nd Congressional District, which features a fierce contest between Republican incumbent Jim Ryun and Democratic challenger Nancy Boyda.

Voters seemed to be bringing plenty of passion to the polls as well. Lucius Hallett, who was voting at Kennedy Elementary near 19th and Harper, said he was driven to the polls by a mistrust of the Republican Party on "basically every issue." He called at least one candidate on the ballot a criminal.

That type of talk has been pretty common in the campaign season, several voters said.

"I'm absolutely glad it is over," said Marti Lucero as she finished voting at Windsor Place, near Kasold and Peterson drives. "I'm glad those commercials will be over. It seems like it has been more cutthroat than usual."

That hasn't seemed to keep voters away, though. There was a line of about 30 people at Windsor Place waiting to vote when polls opened at 7 a.m., a poll worker said.

Warren Quillin, who also was voting at Windsor Place, said it was easy to understand why so many people were coming out. He said many people were viewing the election as referendum on the war in Iraq.

"All politics are local to an extent, but I think the entire situation in the world has flavored this election to the point that you can't separate it," Quillin said.

At Pioneer Ridge Assisted Living, where some West Lawrence residents voted, there seemed to be hints that the predicted tide of Democratic voting was materializing.

John Charmes and Craig West both identified themselves as registered Republicans, but both said they voted mostly for Democrats.

"The Republicans have become too conservative," West said. "I believe in the separation of church and state".

At Corpus Christi Catholic Church in West Lawrence, poll worker D.B. Tracy reported that the precinct had received 105 votes by 9 a.m.

"We had a big bump at 7 a.m. and it's been pretty steady since then," said Tracy, who expected a mild increase during the lunch hour and heavier turnout at the end of the workday.

At Langston Hughes Elementary School on George Williams Way, voter Paul Gray, 59, said he came out to support U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun.

"I always vote, I'm grateful to live in a county where we can," Gray said.

Back on the east side of town, Susan King was one of the first voters on line this morning at Lawrence Senior Center.

"I didn't vote because of specific issues, but because it's a citizen's responsibility to vote," she said. "And other people, in other countries, don't have that privilege."

She added: "I voted for a party I don't usually vote for and this is the second election that I've done that." King said she didn't want to identify which party but that "the issues are enough to move outside the regular party."

And at Pinckney School, Lori Lange, the supervising judge, described the turnout as steady and "almost as busy as a presidential election, which is surprising."

Tuesday's turnout was the first general election to use the new computerized voting equipment.

"I'm in software and I worry about machine voting," said Marc Briand, who voted at Lawrence Senior Center. "It's disconcerting, particularly machine voting that doesn't leave a paper trail. I'd much rather have just plain paper ballots. But, I did like seeing that there is a paper ballot here even if it does get counted by a machine."

Problems appeared to be minor. Aside from the bug at United Way, elections officials said there was a brief problem with a scanner this morning at The Windsor, 3220 Peterson, the polling place for Precinct 6.

"There was an issue and we corrected it this morning. But it was not a bug," Campbell said.

Shew said he had not received any reports of polls not opening on time, which was an issue in a few locations during the August primary. Shew said he had all poll workers arrive at voting locations by 6 a.m. in order to give them plenty of time to set up voting equipment. This is the second election where Douglas County will be using electronic vote scanners at each polling place.

The Journal-World received an e-mail this morning from a voter who walked to his polling place at West Junior High, but couldn't find any place to vote.

The voter said he went home, then came back later and found an entrance to where he could vote at the school.

Shew said he did have his street signs that say "Vote" on them stolen in that area, so there was less than normal signage.

"I can say with confidence that West Junior High was open," Shew said. "Because we had some problems in August, that was a very big push on my part."

Citizen Journalism Academy fellows Mike Penner, Eileen Roddy-Phillips, Bob Thurber, Cherisa Williams and Lori Vinoverski contributed to this story, as did Journal-World reporters Chad Lawhorn and Dave Toplikar.


Displayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

As a matter of fact, I am doing worse financially, and the company I worked for when this administration came in, is now out of business! I used to think of myself as a Republican, but this administration has turned me, and if everyone is so much better off, then why is the current presidents approval rating one of the lowest it has ever been in history???

BOE 11 years, 7 months ago

I remember an anecdote from years back of an economist saying there were over 100 taxes on a loaf of bread.

I hadn't heard the "annual welfare for crack whores" anecdote before, but I wonder .... how many seconds would that buy of the money pit in Iraq?

Ken Miller 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm happy to report that the polls at Immanuel Lutheran Church (Iowa and Bob Billings) were open at 7:00 a.m. Thanks to those who made that happen today.

traditional 11 years, 7 months ago

Hey - As long as Phil wins... It is all good.

rhd99 11 years, 7 months ago

Today will be a GRRRREAT day if Phill Kline loses his hide. If that happens, tomorrow is a new day for US & KLINE is OUT of commission as a licensed attorney & is only identified as number in a prison, just like he identifies all consumer victims as numbers & not people.

monkeyspunk 11 years, 7 months ago


I doubt Kline will go away, though it would be better if he did. Probably see him end up as D.A. somewhere, or worse, running for a Federal or State Congress seat.

Saw a really good bumper sticker: De-Kline. Good advice.

ksmoderate 11 years, 7 months ago

Gee willikers, RT. I'm beginning to think you have a crush on Wolf Blitzer!

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 7 months ago

"Glad to see the weather really sucks in the Seattle and Michigan areas--heavy lib areas....hopefully this will lean in favor of Repubs."

See! I've been on the trolley for years when it comes to the existance of a secret "weather gun" in the posession of the govt. Its either that, or admit to myself that the Lord God Hisself votes Republican in that Greatest of Places to Be: Heaven. Where you live under an omnipresent, omnipotent dictator. Or Junta, for those who believe in the Trinity.

staff04 11 years, 7 months ago

But I would still like to know what percentage of the nation's personal income those in the "burdened" richest 1% make when compared to the share of taxes they pay.

staff04 11 years, 7 months ago

"The top 400 INDIVIDUALS in America take on 1.5% of all of America's tax burden themselves."

What percentage of America's income are they responsible for? I had heard in the past, but can't find information on it anymore.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 7 months ago

Why would someone register to vote, but then not vote? I can understand that up to 10% might cover unexpected occurences that prevent folk from showing up @the polls, but what gives? I bet if they did elections like that damn American Idol they'd do better. Make the candidates compete in categories that they may not necessarily be the most comfortable in. Present pre-thought criticism in the guise of "judges". Then have "America" phone in their vote by texting "bonehead" to 555-1234.

I like to live by the old adage: Vote early, vote often. I just got back from my third precinct. He he just kidding. Are they even called precincts around here? Boy you'd think I was from Chicago or something.

staff04 11 years, 7 months ago


"If this were a Congressional election, weather in a heavily weighted district might have an effect on the overall outcome, but Congressional districts (especially urban areas) are small."

Should read:

If this were a Presidential election, weather in a heavily weighted district might have an effect on the overall outcome, but Congressional districts (especially urban areas) are small.

ksmoderate 11 years, 7 months ago

I pay almost 30% of my gross monthly income to some sort of tax. That has not changed for me since the Bush tax cuts. That's the only economic statistic I need to know to tell me that his tax cuts aren't helping me, period.

The biggest program I have a problem with is the Estate Tax (rich, @sshole spinsters use the misnomer "death tax"). I watched the Senate debate on this thing this summer, and it was disappointing to watch all the rich little Senators pass this thing so they can have even more money, national debt be damned.

ksmoderate 11 years, 7 months ago

Shockchalk, I get your point of view. If the Bush tax cuts have helped you live a better life, then of course you won't want to see any of them repealed. I have no problem with that.

In my case, since none of his tax cuts affected me, I could give a sh!t less if the Estate Tax is reinstated. In fact, given that the Estate Tax only adversely effected the richest 1% of Americans, I would hope that it gets back on the books.

Any repeals of the Bush tax cuts will not--like most republicans want you to believe--go to expanding gov't. The current administration and congress has done plenty to balloon our gov't anyway. The repeals will pay for the war and get our country out of debt. If not, then those people need to be booted out of office come next election.

Cait McKnelly 11 years, 7 months ago

lolz R-T I see you never lived in Portland or Seattle, some of the most liberal and rainiest places in the US. I lived there for several years and it's rather amazing, people there ignore the rain like it doesn't exist. They still wandered around in their knee length shorts, heavy sweatshirts and hiking boots. They don't call it the Left Coast for nothing.

opinion 11 years, 7 months ago

"I personally hope everyone who is registered votes, regardless of affiliation."

Amen, Scenebooster. Even though, I must be a "foolish" Rebublican according to you, I do hope that people get out and vote. Either way elections go, a country gains a clearer identity when more people vote.

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

I think another problem with the percentage count is that people move and are not removed from the registration. I was listening to a story on NPR where the lady in the story found her son registered in 3-4 different places that he had previously lived.

I've just done an internet search and found that I am registered in Iowa and Kansas. The information for Missouri and Illinois were unavailable, but I bet I'm on the books there too.

oldgoof 11 years, 7 months ago

Right-thinker: "Republicans are really bad people aren't they?"

Goof: I disassociate many positive labels from anyone who chooses to use a unit of measure of welfare for a "crack whore."

ksmoderate 11 years, 7 months ago


I'm sure "STAY THE COURSE" repeated a million times helps!

bugmenot 11 years, 7 months ago

The scanner was not working at the East Lawrence Rec center when I voted at about 7:00 this morning. The volunteers seemed flummoxed, and were having voters just put the ballots into the slot below the scanner. I'm really concerned that these votes will not be counted properly.

I've called the "Deputy of Elections" at 832-5267 and the Voting Machine watch people at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

lovenhaight 11 years, 7 months ago

I haven't been voting for all that long, but isn't it standard procedure that they check a photo id? I wasn't asked for one...

Ann Hamil 11 years, 7 months ago

I had to decide whether to spend my "tax cut" on my energy bill, my college tuition, or my health care costs.

monkeyspunk 11 years, 7 months ago

HGA: The first link you posted above proved my point.

It is divided into Income Quintiles, or Fifths. As you can see in your post. The top two income quintiles, the fifth highest and fourth highest contribute approximately 85% of the Total Federal Taxes and 82.9% of the tax collection from Indvidiual income.

by the way, what HGA just posted is based on "Statutory Marginal Tax Brackets" From his second link above.

Defender and BOE: I post a government produced document based on IRS information, you post insults.

ad hominem much?

Kathy Theis-Getto 11 years, 7 months ago


"No, let's hear your definition?"

You are a sick Fu**

Nate Poell 11 years, 7 months ago

I showed up at 6:50 this morning and was a little disappointed that I was first in line at Lawrence High. Dangit people, EVERYONE just get out and vote already.

Keith 11 years, 7 months ago

Are the scanners working ok today? At 8:30 this morning at Sterling House they were rejecting ballots.

shockchalk 11 years, 7 months ago

Most economist will tell you that the country is doing quite well under the present administration. Even the liberal media will give W that. Especially considering the cost of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and yes, the war in Iraq.

The economy is also cyclical in nature and the late, great, embarrasment of a president Clinton, benefitted greatly from the plans that Bush 43 put into place when he was president.

Are you doing worse financially??? Have the tax cuts helped you in any way????

carolannfugate 11 years, 7 months ago

"Ever heard of defamation?"

Doesn't matter what the profile the true personalways surfaces; right Patriotman?

shockchalk 11 years, 7 months ago

SB, When the Dems gains turn out to be "not so heavy", you will be the first one posting the "spins". I am sure that some gains will be made but nothing like the liberal media is predicting. There are enough level-headed and sensible people out there to avoid the trainwreck the liberal Democrats would bring to the entire country.

Porter 11 years, 7 months ago

shockchalk " can't wait for more and bigger goverment programs "

Like NCLB, The Dept of Homeland Security, and budget deficits?

Sorry, couldn't help it.

BOE 11 years, 7 months ago

by Patriotman on November 7, 2006 at 3:46 p.m.

"" Shows what moneyspunk posted is accurate. IRS and congressional numbers. Check "The Federal Tax Burden" graph, it tells it all.""


monkeyspunk said:

" The "richest" half of Americans take on over 90% of the tax burden in America! "


Actually, it doesn't tell it all.

America's tax burden is not confined to the Federal Income Tax.

Far from it.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 7 months ago

"...expecting a countywide voter turnout of about 55 percent, but said it likely will top 60 percent..."

What do people mean when they talk about voter turnout? Is it the percent of people who are registered who actually vote, or is it the percent of those who are eligable to vote compared to those who actually register and vote?

justthefacts 11 years, 7 months ago

It will be interesting (to me at least) to see which party members scream "Voter fraud" after all the results are in and a winner(s) declared. I am not a gambler, but I'm pretty sure that the persons whose candidate(s) loses will be casting the most stones. Everyone is happy as long as their team is the winner. When their team loses, the quickest way to let off steam is to yell "foul".

Ann Hamil 11 years, 7 months ago

exactly, sb, I am sick of people clamoring for us to "spread democracy" around the world, but then hoping to suppress the vote here by any means necessary.

jeanc 11 years, 7 months ago


These are two sources for information about candidates, campaign finance, and voting history of incumbents.

I know that it's a little late for this information, but it may help for future elections.

galfromku 11 years, 7 months ago

some people register to vote so they can vote for president, but feel like they are not informed enough to vote in other elections. I have a young son for example that feels this way. In prior elections, I have been able to find a "cheat sheet" so to speak that has the issues and candidates views side by side so he could inspect them. I have not been able to find something similar this time. Does anyone know where a tool like this could be found so I could share it with him this evening?

staff04 11 years, 7 months ago


That makes no sense at all. If this were a Congressional election, weather in a heavily weighted district might have an effect on the overall outcome, but Congressional districts (especially urban areas) are small.

Oh, what the hell...I don't know why I am bothering to explain this to you, in your infinite wisdom...snicker

Displayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

So shockchalk, how do you explain the fact that when Clinton left office there was a 236 billion dollar surplus with a balanced budget, and now we are 296 billion dollars in the red???

monkeyspunk 11 years, 7 months ago

ksmoderate: Only way the tax cuts didn't help you is if you probably DIDN'T pay Federal income taxes.

The "richest" half of Americans take on over 90% of the tax burden in America!

The top 400 INDIVIDUALS in America take on 1.5% of all of America's tax burden themselves.

And the fact is, the burden on the richest Americans continues to increase every year, even with Bush's ebil tax cuts.

People who complain about "tax cuts for the rich" are just plain uninformed victims of Democrat pandering.

BOE 11 years, 7 months ago

by monkeyspunk on November 7, 2006 at 2:13 p.m.

" ksmoderate: Only way the tax cuts didn't help you is if you probably DIDN'T pay Federal income taxes.

The "richest" half of Americans take on over 90% of the tax burden in America!

The top 400 INDIVIDUALS in America take on 1.5% of all of America's tax burden themselves. "


Whew! Talk about uninformed.

Project much, ms?

conservative 11 years, 7 months ago

roger, it is the percentage of registered voters.

staff04 11 years, 7 months ago

That graph doesn't show anything relevant to today, p-man. The most recent real data they have used was 1995, and their 1999 numbers were projected, not actual numbers. The last time that information was revised was in 2000, well before the President's tax cuts took effect.

shockchalk 11 years, 7 months ago

ksmoderate...........nor am I a rich a#%hole. But I am glad we are rid of the marriage tax, death tax, and the other taxes the new democratic majority (if your dreams come true) are more than ready to pile on the back of the US citizens. Oh, and I can't wait for more and bigger goverment programs so we can support all those unfortunate souls out there.

Mkh 11 years, 7 months ago

"Republicans, on the other hand, who tend to think ahead, will take an umbrella"

Like the planning of Iraq right? That was well thought out. Too Funny!

ksmoderate 11 years, 7 months ago

Do you mean Bush 41?

The tax cuts have not helped me in any way. But then again, I'm not a rich @sshole.

Steve Jacob 11 years, 7 months ago

ID only required IF you a first time vote in that district.

I still think dems. gain 20 in the house (majority by 5) and gain 4 in the senate (still down 49/51)

It will be very interesting if the senate is 49/51 or 50/50. See if anyone will switch parties.

BOE 11 years, 7 months ago

by monkeyspunk on November 7, 2006 at 4:36 p.m.

" BOE: I post a government produced document based on IRS information, you post insults.

ad hominem much? "


If you will review, you projected "uninformed". It came from your post.

I should have put it in " "s, I guess.

=== - " ms said:

The "richest" half of Americans take on over 90% of the tax burden in America! "


That statement wasn't true and your link is for, "Distribution of Major Federal Taxes 2000".

It doesn't reflect the entire tax burden for all Americans, nor does it reflect the $600 to 700 billion+ that we borrow annually, in large part to finance the tax cuts, ... a debt to be paid by future taxpayers.

- "A tax cut that adds to the deficit today is just a tax hike on future taxpayers."

-- Economist Milton Friedman

NickoliJazz 11 years, 7 months ago

I just watched Flags of Our Fathers. I am so glad the sacrifices that were required during World War II fell on the shoulders of that generation and not my generation. We call for the head of our president over the loss of 3,000 lives when in one battle the U.S. lost more than 6,000 troops on the sands of Iwo Jima. When is are the liberals of our nations going to understand that war is often the means to peace. No, I'm not talking about our peace. I am not talking in a self-centered tone here. No, I am talking about the peace we are winning for innocent Iraqi citizens who for the very first time in their existence are capable of voting like we are today. Some of them are tasting processed, purified water for the first time. Children are receiving long-overdue vaccinations. The "civil war" you hear about in the news has been waged for hundreds of years. It is nothing new. The casualties we seen between warring Muslim tribes are repeated history. We are making a change not for the narrow-minded religious zealots, but for the innocent children and women who are victims left standing in want. So you can cry for our troops to return, but I will vote to keep them there because I believe in the cause. Like those men in the Pacific and in Europe, they are fighting not for American peace, but giving voice to the defenseless. Vote Democrat if you want to be selfish. Vote Republican if you want to think of someone else for a change. I am so ashamed for the peace picketers because it couldn't be a more self-centered message. To whom much is given, much is required. America is blessed, and we have the responsibility, no the obligation to pass it on to others less fortunate.

Cait McKnelly 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh, and I can't wait for more and bigger government programs so we can support all those unfortunate souls out there.

All of this talk about "welfare crack whores" and stuff like the above quote sickens me. These are the same people who are so vehemently anti-abortion. They scream about saving the "poor babieeeee's" Until, that is, it becomes an actual born child. Then they could give a rat's patootie.

"Pharisees and hypocrites", all of you.

monkeyspunk 11 years, 7 months ago


You say my statement wasn't true, prove it. I have a graph that shows it indeed is, what do you have?

According to a statistic posted by HGA, it is very true. His second graph doesn't illustrate actual population numbers, it goes by percentage within each tax bracket. Yes it does show that the middle tax brackets do end up paying the majority (~63% of all taxes from income) but from the first chart you can see that the two top 5ths of the population pay 92.9% of Income tax in the US.

I am sorry the chart is from 2000, but I was responding to HGA using the chart he provided.

And as far as I am concerned this conversation was based on Federal Income Tax and "Tax Cuts for the Rich", the points you bring up, though possibly valid (yet with no supporting proof) don't really pertain to the discussion.

monkeyspunk 11 years, 7 months ago

BOE and HGA, we could go back and forth on this all night, providing varying graphs and charts from different sources all seeming to be legitimate and "solid" proof for our side of the argument.

Amazing how an article starting out with an entertaining anectdote about a June bug leads to discussion on taxation.

It was fun, but now it is time to watch the results as they come in from the East coast. Kind of eager to see how Lieberman faired in Connecticut.

janeb 11 years, 7 months ago

You kids are so much fun sometimes.

Tychoman 11 years, 7 months ago

I voted half an hour ago. It was glorious.

Mkh 11 years, 7 months ago

Wow you are a seriously brainwashed NickoliJazz. I really hope you don't infect anyone around you with your dillusional state of reality.

opinion 11 years, 7 months ago

Final turn-out percentages posted anywhere? Good to see the democratic process stronger this time around.

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