Archive for Wednesday, August 6, 2008

13% turn out for vote

Human error is to blame for more than 4000 primary votes to be counted a day late in Shawnee County.

August 6, 2008


Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

Douglas County poll workers weren't as busy as they'd like to have been for Tuesday's primary.

Only 10,436 voters cast ballots, making turnout a low 13 percent, even with a competitive congressional primary race between Republicans Jim Ryun and Lynn Jenkins and four total primaries for two County Commission seats.

"I always want a higher turnout," Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said.

Voter turnout in for the August 2006 primary was 12 percent.

Although 26 percent of Republicans turned out, compared with 16 percent for Democrats, several precincts experienced low numbers.

In areas around the Kansas University campus, many students were not back in town yet because classes don't start until later this month, Shew said.

Still, voters throughout the day said they felt it was their duty to cast ballots. Some first-time voters celebrated their trips to the polls.

"My parents encouraged me to do it. It's the right thing to do," said Ben Harvey, a 19-year-old who voted for the first time. "It's what this country is for. People died in wars so I can vote."

Douglas County commissioners will canvass the election at 9 a.m. Friday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.

Shew said election workers collected 117 provisional ballots, which will be counted or thrown out.

- Education reporter Alexander Parker contributed information.


stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 4 months ago

consumer1I can't imagine that you are being forced to live in a college town...

institches 9 years, 4 months ago

The fact that students vote was not the decision of Mr.Shew.. that has been going on for at least 30 years that I can remember. What really is at issue here is the apathy of the full time residents of this county when it comes to going to the polls and making their voice heard. You have another chance to vote in November...let's see what happens. If you don't vote, don't complain about who is in office.

average 9 years, 4 months ago

Sigmund - You are absolutely correct. 21% of voters affiliated with a party came out for a primary election. Now, yes, unaffiliated voters could register for a party at the poll (though many probably didn't know that). But, the 36% of DGCO voters who are unaffiliated or third-party affiliated (me until this year) all specifically chose to be unaffiliated. No shock that they weren't coming out in droves to a primary election.

sdinges 9 years, 4 months ago

Just a note about students: If they are gone for the Summer, then there's a good chance that Lawrence is not their permanent address. Thus, when they register to vote, many can't vote here anyway, but are actually part of the district where their parents live.

Paul R Getto 9 years, 4 months ago

13%! 100% of the Sheeple gripe, but, through inaction, allow 6-7% of the public to decide elections. Get involved.

nobody1793 9 years, 4 months ago

I think all policy should be set based on the super-reliable and always well-worded LJW online polls.

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 4 months ago

consumer1I didn't miss a thing...but you maybe miss my point...they live here... they pay taxes... if it bothers you so much maybe you should consider living some place else...might I recommend you move to Junction City... where the temporary population is rather more conservative... controlled by the right-wing spewing of Fort Riley...and talk about brain washed...

Sigmund 9 years, 4 months ago

BTW I was the only non-election worker at the poll where I voted and it took less than 3 minutes. I am very pleased that those who can't take a few minutes to vote, didn't.

dandelion 9 years, 4 months ago

Those registered as independents could get a Democrat primary ballot without re-declaring a party. If you wanted to vote in the Republican primary you had to re-register. I think it's a shame that the government pays for these primaries. I think the 2 parties should pay for them.

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 4 months ago

but then... comsumer1maybe you think that those soldiers shouldn't be allowed to vote...

penguin 9 years, 4 months ago

Actually you are off there...students have the option to either register where they attend college or in their home district (they cannot do both...obviously). When groups register college students on campus they will obviously tell them they need to have a Lawrence address to vote here. These are the general rules in regards to college students:College StudentsAs a college student, you have a choice as to where to cast your ballot. You may select only one residence and vote once in any given election. * If you live at home while attending school, you vote at your hometown polling place. * If you live on campus, you may vote either at your hometown polling place (as long as you still have a permanent residence there) or at the polling place in the neighborhood where your school is located (but not at both places). * If you live off campus at school, you may vote either at your hometown polling place (as long as you still have a permanent residence there) or at the polling place for your off campus residence (but not at both places).Unfortunately, the Kansas Secretary of State page is not as good as other those in other states.

jumpin_catfish 9 years, 4 months ago

Listen up demos and repubs: we don't believe anything you say and your deeds speak volumes. The result is folks are losing interest and that is a bad thing for the country and sadly I'm one of them. I detest the whole system and have lost faith in the our leaders to work together at any level to move the country, state or community forward at all. So for the first time in my adult life I may exercise my constitutional right and not vote at all for any of them.

Sigmund 9 years, 4 months ago

"Although 26 percent of Republicans turned out, compared with 16 percent for Democrats, several precincts experienced low numbers."So if both democrats and republicans turned out in higher percentage than the 13% in the headline, that means that almost no independents or others did. Discuss.

tolawdjk 9 years, 4 months ago

consumer1 is just bitching because they most likely don't share his political views.Nevermind those students that live in that area that do share his viewpoint that he would go ahead and strip the vote from.Never mind that they could have voted via abstee options and didn't.Never mind that historically they have -never- formed a large enough voting block to sway -any- election held in the city.Consumer1 just needs to occaisionally get up on his soapbox and pontificate that the ills of the world are the responsibility of some other group besides his, and that if everyone would just do things exactly the way he wants them to, things would be oh so much better.

MyName 9 years, 4 months ago

consumer1 (Anonymous) says:>A 13 % low voter turnout is representative of the lack of >trust they feel for the government.umm... no it's a sign of a boring primary where only one race was even a contest, and that was a Republican primary in West Lawrence. The turnout for the Presidential primaries/caucuses was much better because it actually mattered.And once we as a nation moved away from people having to own property to have the vote, you lost the right to complain about people who "only" live here 9 months out of the year having the vote.

average 9 years, 4 months ago

Autie - Again this was NOT a 13% turnout. This was a primary election. Only people affiliated with parties could vote (though they could make an affiliation at the door). 20% of people affiliated with a party voted. Still pretty bad, but the headline is severely exaggerated.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 4 months ago

What surprises me is the lower turnout west of Iowa ST. and North of 15th. I guess they were working too hard to make sure they could meet house payments, or possibly on the way out of town to work. At least we have the right to Vote. That is truly something to be proud of.

kansaskev61 9 years, 4 months ago

People are tired of politics and politicians. I voted, it took only 4 minutes. I feel it is my duty to vote. But It doesn't matter who you vote for. They WON'T represent their constituents, they only want to advance their own political aspirations. Bored housewives who want to be a congress woman or Senator because they have nothing else to do. Ex Olympic athletes who want to extend their 15 minutes. Or legal aces who have NEVER done a lick of real work in their lives. Little Lawrence, Douglas County and the state of Kansas are just tiny little steps in their walk to power and prestiege.

imastinker 9 years, 4 months ago

Looks like there's a LOT of people unhappy with the Jefferson county Atty.

penguin 9 years, 4 months ago

Ya autie describes a common practice that occurs in states with closed primary elections. In Kansas it makes a lot of sense because, more often than not the Dems are lucky to field one candidate. Voting for crazy in the primaries to give the Dem an easy target in the general can work in this part of the state (voting for Kris Kobach in the primary comes to mind). However, it can also be playing with a bit of fire, which is why when I was living out west I could not even stomach voting for Connie Morris with the hope of her losing in the general. That election represented a form of chicken that no one should play.

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

I voted in under a minute. There were three poll workers and me. I don't care how boring the primary was. Those of you who didn't vote are completely pathetic and don't have any right to complain.

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