Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kansas primary election saw 20 percent turnout

August 27, 2014


— Kansas officials say about 20 percent of the state's 1.74 million registered voters took part in this month's primary elections.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach chairs the three-member State Board of Canvassers, which certified the results of the Aug. 5 primaries on Wednesday. Nearly 351,000 ballots were cast.

Kobach had predicted 22 percent turnout. The 20 percent participation was the lowest for a Kansas primary election since 2006, when it was 18 percent.

Turnout in the last primary in a non-presidential election year in 2010 was 25 percent.

Logan County in western Kansas had the highest turnout, at 40 percent. The lowest turnout, less than 12 percent, was in Labette County in southeast Kansas.


Ira Rott 3 years, 8 months ago

Not really as low as 20%, since Kansas is not a state with open primaries 31% of the electorate (those registered as unaffiliated) are ineligible to vote in the primaries. Remove them and its more like 29%, still not very good. Voter registrations have increased by 10,000 since 2010, but those Unaffiliated have risen by 48,000 since 2010. That rise by itself accounts for 61% of the overall difference between the total votes cast in the primary in 2014 and 2010.

Cille King 3 years, 8 months ago

Unaffiliated voters can go to the polls for the primary, affiliate with a party and vote in that party's primary election. So, it's technically true that unaffiliated voters can't vote in a primary, but unaffiliated voters only have to affiliate with a party in order to vote in the primary, and can do it when they go to vote.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 8 months ago

Much more interesting is the number of provisional ballots that were cast: 6,333. There are 18,260 registered voters who are being held up by the new voter ID law requirements, i.e. newly registered voters who have not produced the correct form of personal identification required now by the tighter regulations. If the rate of voting among these potential voters was the same as in the general electorate of registered Kansas voters, you'd expect 20.2% to vote, or 3688 voters. You could make a reasonable argument that these potentially new voters voted at a higher rate than the general electorate just because it's their first time. While the Secretary of State has not released the number of provisional ballots issued in the past as far as I can tell, I don't know whether the current election numbers are up or down, but I suspect they are up considerably, as these 18,000 plus voters were thrown into this category: provisional.

Bottom line: there's a good chance that anywhere between 3-5,000 voters whose votes would have been counted in pre-voter ID law elections had their votes suppressed in the 2014 primary. With the last non-presidential election year voter turnout in Kansas being around 50%, we may see an additional 9,000 votes suppressed in November, a number high enough to change the outcome of any close election.

Check out the numbers yourself here: Click on the 2014 Primary Election Official Turnout tab

Ken Lassman 3 years, 8 months ago

Thinking about this even more deeply, whether or not those provisional ballots were cast by the 18,000 plus limbo voters in the primary is not completely relevant simply because it is reasonable to expect at least a 20% turnout among those limbo voters, and their votes have been suppressed even if they did not show up at the ballot box and were issued a provisional ballot. In other words, their vote was suppressed either by issuing them a provisional ballot that was later thrown out, or they didn't bother to show up because they knew their vote would not be counted anyway.

The burden of proof is in Kobach's hands to prove that a significant number of those 6333 provisional ballots came from voters who were intent on voter fraud. If their vote was thrown out, or they didn't even show up to vote because of the new voter ID law when they would have otherwise been able to vote in the election, their vote was suppressed, plain and simple.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Kansas needs 60% voter turnout to send Brownback to somewhere …… no back to the governors seat.

Brownback's "victory" is a loss for Kansas kids

Kansans who care about public schools must keep holding Gov. Sam Brownback accountable for the damage he’s done.

We learned Wednesday, June 11, that a three-judge panel in Topeka ruled funding to help poor, rural school districts had been put right under order from the Kansas Supreme Court. Future hearings will determine whether the state is providing enough money overall to its public schools.

That means Kansans who want the best possible education for the next generation must keep up efforts to hold Gov. Sam Brownback accountable for the damage he’s done to our schools.

Brownback called it “a victory for Kansas” when he made the largest cut to school funding in the state’s history.
 In his first budget, Brownback cut base state aid per pupil by $232 over two years* — the state’s largest-ever single cut to school funding.

The result? Overcrowded classrooms. Increased fees and other costs for students’ families. Reductions to arts and special education. While other states are investing in schools as the economy turns around, we lose ground here in Kansas because Brownback doesn’t value public education.

Brownback’s own budgets created an imbalance 
in funding for poorer, rural school districts.
When the court declared in March that that funding was unconstitutional, Brownback blamed previous governors for the problem.

But the budgets the court was talking about had risen in the two years before Brownback took office. His first budget cut those funds by 12 percent. And he’s left it there since.*


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