59 percent voter turnout in Douglas County sets midterm record, county clerk says

photo by: Dylan Lysen/Journal-World photo

Students stand in line at the polling place inside the Burge Union on the University of Kansas campus to cast their votes in the midterm election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

The fall general election was a record-breaking midterm that approached the turnout of presidential election years, Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said Tuesday.

A total of 47,155 of the county’s 79,895 registered voters cast ballots in the general election, for a turnout of 59 percent, Shew said. The number of voters and turnout shattered the previous midterm turnout record of 39,000 voters in the 2014 general election and approached presidential election levels, Shew said, noting that about 49,000 voters turned out for the 2012 general election.

“When I estimated Monday that turnout would be 45,000, I was being optimistic,” he said. “A turnout of 47,000 for a midterm is remarkable.”

A record 21,245 county residents voted through in-person or mail-in advance ballots, Shew said. That number will go up as the clerk’s office counts the mail-in ballots turned in at polling sites Tuesday, he said. In addition, mail-in ballots with a Tuesday postmark that arrive at the clerk’s office on or before Friday will be counted, he said. He estimated there the uncounted mail-in ballots will add a “couple of hundred” votes to this year’s turnout total.

All Tuesday results will be unofficial until a Nov. 15 canvass by the Douglas County Commission.


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