If advance voting is any indicator, Douglas County may be headed toward a higher than average turnout for a municipal election on Tuesday.
Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said 1,583 advance ballots had been turned in by noon Monday, when in-person voting was closed.
That's the largest number of advance ballots cast in a spring municipal election since 2005, when Kansas voters also were asked to decide on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In that election, 1,619 advance votes were cast, leading up to a 38.6 percent turnout.
By comparison, turnout in the three municipal elections since then ranged from 13.5 percent in 2011 to 19 percent in 2007.
In addition, Shew said, 280 additional advance ballots were mailed to voters but had not been returned by noon Monday. The deadline for those ballots to be returned to Shew's office is 7 p.m. Tuesday.
"Advance voting is getting more popular but there are other indications that may point to a slightly higher turnout," Shew said. "I think we will have a larger turnout than the past couple of city and school election cycles and feel we are looking at a turnout similar to 2007, about 19 percent."
Douglas County voters this spring are electing city commissioners in Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City and Lecompton, as well as school board members in the Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City, Perry-Lecompton, Wellsville, Shawnee Heights and Santa Fe Trail school districts.
In addition, voters in the Lawrence school district will decide on a proposed $92.5 million bond issue for building improvements, technology upgrades and expansion of career and technical education programs.