Archive for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Town Talk: Election day numbers and musings on a hobo 100 years ago

April 5, 2011, 5:00 p.m. Updated April 5, 2011, 5:18 p.m.


News and notes from around town:

UPDATE: It is looking more likely that even the talk of school consolidation won’t bring out many voters to today’s city/school board elections in Lawrence.

County Clerk Jamie Shew said that as of 3:30 p.m. only 8 percent of registered voters in the county had come out to vote. That’s well below the 20 percent projection Shew offered before the beginning of the day.

Shew, though, was holding out hope that the voting totals would still at least equal the 2009 turnout of 14 percent, which was considered lackluster.

Much like the 10:30 a.m. update, westside precincts are producing more votes than eastside precincts. Here’s a look at the five precincts with the top vote totals as of 3:30 p.m.

  1. Langston Hughes School, 1101 George Williams Way, 303 voters.
  2. Brandon Woods, 1501 Inverness Drive, 287 voters
  3. Deerfield School, 101 Lawrence Ave., 265 voters
  4. Pioneer Ridge Assisted Living, 4851 Harvard Road, 209 voters
  5. Mustard Seed Church, 700 Wakarusa Drive, 198 voters.
Related document

3:30 p.m. voter turnout report ( .PDF )

UPDATE: For a complete list of totals from Shew's 3:30 report, see the new PDF document at the side of this article.

• So much for the idea that talk of school consolidation would bring out younger, eastside voters in today’s elections — at least so far.

According to numbers compiled by Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew — as of 10:30 a.m. — the polling place that had seen the most voters was Brandon Woods with 183 voters. For those of you not in the know, that’s a retirement center and it is in the heart of West Lawrence at 15th and Inverness. Kind of the exact opposite of young, eastside voters. The No. 2 polling place was Langston Hughes Elementary with 174 voters. It is about as far West Lawrence as you can get. No. 3 was Deerfield Elementary, 101 Lawrence Avenue, with 138. No. 4. was Pioneer Ridge Assisted Living, 4851 Harvard Road, with 121. No. 5 was Mustard Seed Church, 700 Wakarusa, with 114. If you are keeping track, all five of those are west of Iowa Street, and in most cases, well west.

In terms of the voting sites with the smallest number of voters as of 10:30:

• Burge Union, 1601 Irving Hill: 2 voters

• Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt.: 9 voters

• Central United Methodist Church, 1501 Mass.: 19 voters

• USD 497 Administration Center, 24 voters

• Church of Christ, 201 North Michigan, 33 voters

Note, however, that three polling places did not report their totals back in to Shew when he was doing his 10:30 a.m. check. Those were: Checkers Foods, Schwegler Elementary School, and Central Junior High School.

• The above numbers do include advanced voting totals, which may give some indication of how voter turnout will be at the end of the day. The advance totals are pretty much showing the same thing. No. 1 is Brandon Woods with 66 advance voters; No. 2 is Deerfield with 58 advance voters; No. 3. Langston Hughes, 53 advance voters; No. 4 Central Junior High 33; No. 5: (Tied) Immanuel Lutheran Church, Clinton Parkway Assembly of God, First Southern Baptist Church, 31.

Related document

April 2011 Election turnout update ( .PDF )

• For people who are even more curious about voting totals, to the side of this article is a PDF that contains information for each precinct in the county, according to Shew’s 10:30 a.m. check.

• I traveled to several voting sites this morning to get a feel for how things were going. There was general surprise from several poll workers on the eastern side of the city that more voters hadn't shown up, given the issues with the school district. From my standpoint, the most interesting observation came at the East Lawrence Recreation Center. It was about 11:30 a.m., so not an unreasonable time to expect to catch someone out voting. Instead, the number of people on the treadmills outnumbered the people in the ballot box by 2 to 0. Personally, I would rather vote.

• I’m probably more interested in voter turnout than most people, in part because it determines how late I will have to stay up tonight to get the election results. I’m pretty confident that it will be better than it was 100 years ago, according to our 100 years ago column in the Journal-World. According to that column the last results were announced at 1:50 a.m. and the only people left in attendance to hear them were “a newspaper man, two victorious candidates and a hobo.” My wife pointed this out to me this morning before I left for work. She’s often critical of my fashion choices, and I think she was trying to insinuate that I could play two of those three roles this evening.

Remember, polls are open until 7 p.m. this evening.


Richard Andrade 7 years, 1 month ago

Although this may have happened (I read the paper every day, but don't recall seeing such a thing), in the future, it would be very helpful to readers if the Journal World published a one-page compendium of candidates, listing a brief candidate background and their stances on various commonly discussed issues (in answer to a JW questionaire, for instance). This would put all relevant information in one place for the voter, rather than have to glean the information from multiple disparate articles. I would guess turnout is low partly because many people don't know the philosophies of one candidate from the next.

hildirid 7 years, 1 month ago

I made a brief stop at my house between work and voting, intending among other things to verify the name of a school board candidate whose questionnaire answers I'd liked. I flipped open the paper and there wasn't even a skeleton summary of names and pictures. Instead I had to unpack and turn on a laptop. Sometimes technology is actually slower.

DeMontfort 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey Chad...what was the turnout like (percentage-wise) in 2003 and 2005? Just curious as I think that was when those damned progressives who ruined everything got out the vote. (Lordy, I think they might have even helped Rich Minder get elected. Yikes.)

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