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LJWorld.com weblogs Election 2012

Live coverage of the 2012 primaries

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Baldwin turnout grows in late hours

Baldwin City’s two downtown polling places closed with a marked difference in turnout.

The 62nd Precinct site at the Baldwin City American Legion Hall had 280 voters, or about 21 percent of its 1,353 registered voters.

Just minutes before the polls closed at 7 p.m., 176 voters had made it to the Baldwin City Fire Station to vote at the 60th Precinct polling site. That was good for about 15 percent of the precinct’s 1,185 registered voters.

The city’s third voting site, the 61st Precinct at Baldwin Junior High School, reported 135 of its 1,503 registered voters had voted as of 3:30 p.m.

- Elvyn Jones 5:45, just received updated turnout numbers

Updated numbers show voter turnout in county sitting at around 9.7 percent as of 3:30 p.m. That compares to 13 percent for 2010 primary election, with 3.5 hours to go. A little more than 7,200 voters have cast ballots so far today.

For the full database, check here: http://bit.ly/ONYnOK

4 p.m.: By the numbers

The Douglas County Clerk's office conveniently posted the demographic statistics for each precinct. Includes ages and party affiliation. An interesting look at the political leanings by neighborhood here in Lawrence.

Here's the link: http://bit.ly/QHYVLh

- Shaun Hittle

Pool packed, polls not so much at 3 p.m. in Eudora

We started out scouring Lawrence, but for the afternoon adventure, ventured out east to Eudora to check in on a couple of their polling places.

At the Eudora Rec Center, the pool was packed with families enjoying the slightly cooler weather. But inside at the voting booth, election workers were enjoying some down time, knitting or reading in between the 76 voters who'd shown up for the day as of 3 p.m.

Turnout was a little lower across town at Eudora City Hall, with 61 casting ballots as of about 2:45.

The biggest challenge of the day? It wasn't the new voter ID law — they said that all went smoothly.

"Just staying awake," remarked one election worker.

On a side note, one of Eudora's most famous residents, longtime Journal-World reporter Chad Lawhorn, was nowhere to be found, despite several drives around the city.

- Shaun Hittle

What low turnout?

We always note that our polls are not scientific, but in light of the low turnout, it's interesting to note that 65 percent of Journal-World readers who took our poll today planned on voting.

- Alex Parker

Ed Alexander, Lawrence, carries boxes of tissues from behind the polling table at Checkers as election judge Marita Elliott and clerk Irene Reynolds wait for voters, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. Checkers served as the polling site for precinct 29 voters.

Ed Alexander, Lawrence, carries boxes of tissues from behind the polling table at Checkers as election judge Marita Elliott and clerk Irene Reynolds wait for voters, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. Checkers served as the polling site for precinct 29 voters. by Nick Krug

Few voters in Baldwin City

Six hours after they opened and with six hours to go, the two polling places in downtown Baldwin City were reporting small turnouts for Tuesday’s primary election.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

The 60th precinct polling place at the Baldwin Fire Station, 610 High St. had 74 voters as of 1 p.m., said supervisor Sue Coon. There are 1,185 register voters on the precinct’s rolls, she said.

“It’s been slow and steady,” Coon said.

Two blocks west on High Street at the Baldwin City American Legion, election workers reported 123 of 1,353 registered voters had made it to the polls at the day’s halfway point.

Poll workers at both sites reported no problems with the new state law requiring voters to provide valid photo identification before receiving ballots.

“Most people usually have it out before we ask for it,” Coon said. “I’ve heard a couple of comments — negative.

“Most people are showing their driver’s license. I’ve had one military ID and one passport.

- Elvyn Jones

Early voter numbers in

Just received the 11 a.m. plus early voting numbers. Looks like the county is at about 5.27 percent, or about 3,900 voters, after a third of the voting time. The turnout in 2010 was 13 percent, or about 9,800 voters.

In other words, a third of the way through, and at about a third of the 2010 numbers.

For a closer look, check this database: http://bit.ly/Mreakw.

- Shaun Hittle

With turnout low this morning, most polling places had just seen a few voters for the primary election by the time Sara Wentz cast her ballot at the Carnegie Building around 9:30 a.m.

With turnout low this morning, most polling places had just seen a few voters for the primary election by the time Sara Wentz cast her ballot at the Carnegie Building around 9:30 a.m. by Richard Gwin

At 1 p.m. 84 people had voted in person at Hillcrest School, 1045 Hilltop Drive.

Election officials said that's 6 percent of the precinct's registered voters, not counting advanced ballots that were cast.

Karen Booker, the site's supervising judge, said poll workers saw a "steady trickle" of voters throughout the day, which seemed to be standard for a primary election.

Only one person had to cast a provisional ballot so far at the site for not having appropriate photo ID, she said.

"It's going pretty well," she said of the new state law that requires voters show photo ID at the polls. "We've got some complaints, but it's going well," "Definitely most people are ready for it."

- George Diepenbrock

In Eudora, copy editor Susan Roberts was the 61st voter of the morning at 10:30, though no one else was present when she voted. Poll workers said they were pleased with turnout so far.

At Free State High School, photographer Richard Gwin reports 90 people had voted as of 2 p.m.

Different location, same story

We checked the westside of Lawrence this morning, then swung by central Lawrence — at the Trinity Lutheran Church, Central Junior High and Carnegie Building polling centers — during the lunch break.

But it was the same story from election workers: few voters.

Bob Benso, supervising judge at Trinity, said voting had been "slow, but steady." As of 12:30, they were at just 45 voters.

No one at any of the locations mentioned any problems with the new voter ID law, and neither did any of the voters the Journal-World spoke to.

All in all, not much of note, according to workers.

But there was one fun nugget the crew at Central Junior High shared. An elderly woman who's been voting for years, cried — as she always does — after her vote, touched by the democratic process.

- Shaun Hittle

1:30 update, voter turnout about 15 percent

According to the clerk's Twitter feed, a check of polling places late this morning indicates voter turnout is about half of the 2010 total. That puts Douglas County on track to have a 15 percent turnout, slightly lower than the 18 percent predicted by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

- Shaun Hittle

Issues abound

For some lunchtime reading, the Associated Press takes a look at some of the major issues in this primary, ranging from the evolution question to the political infighting that's created a rift in the Republican party.

The AP also reports that the looming question of health care reform could be influencing some folks at the polls.

Opponents of moderate Republicans have attempted to align the moderates with the Affordable Care Act.

In Topeka Tuesday, Republican Kent Schneider, a 55-year-old retired state employee, said he voted for state Rep. Joe Patton against incumbent Sen. Vicky Schmidt mostly because he believes Patton is more opposed to what he called "Obamacare."

At another Topeka precinct, 23-year-old Derek Parrett, a casino supervisor, gave the same reasons for voting for Patton. He described Schmidt as too liberal.

- Alex Parker

Road closed near Marion Center Hall polling place

The Portion of N. 600 Road, between E. 400 and E. 450 Road, is closed for construction, so if you're heading to the Marion Center Hall polling place at 501 East 300 Road in Overbrook, you might want to check out this map to plan a detour: http://www.douglas-county.com/depts/pw/op/docs/pdf/roadclosings_countywide.pdf

Lone Star resident Richard Rawlings said he was surprised when he came across the road, which began to undergo construction yesterday.

"I've lived out there for a while, so I knew my way around," he said. "I was just like, 'this is brilliant!'"

He said the road is heavily traveled on Election Day.

"I asked the poor poll watchers (who did this) … the poor polling people threw their hands up and said 'not us!'"

Alex Parker and Shaun Hittle,/i>

11:30 a.m. check-in with Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew

We just chatted with Shew about how the voting day is going so far, and he said things are going smoothly.

He noted the low voter turnout, and he'll be emailing us some preliminary numbers shortly, which we'll post.

As far as any problems with the new voter ID law, Shew said there have been a few reports from voters without ID's, or problems with the ID's they did provide. In those cases, voters were able to file a provisional ballot.

But to allay concerns that those votes won't get tallied, Shew said they've designated a staff member as the "ID liaison," who will contact each voter who filed a provisional ballot. That'll start tomorrow, Shew said.

- Shaun Hittle

A voter casts his ballot at First Southern Baptist Church on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.

A voter casts his ballot at First Southern Baptist Church on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. by Richard Gwin

11 a.m. update After hitting some polling places in northwest Lawrence for the pre-work voters, we headed south to southwest Lawrence.

At Southwest Junior High, supervising judge Robert Szabo said they've been seeing a wide variety of ID's used by voters to comply with the new voter ID law; everything from KU student ID's, military ID's, and a Lawrence Public Schools ID.

But by 10:15 a.m., Szabo had seen only 51 voters, or about 2.5 percent of the roughly 2,000 registered voters in the precinct.

Over at Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave., workers had seen only 38 voters so far, with voter turnout dropping off after the pre-work crowd.

Some of the workers took up knitting to pass the time. Others, just chit chat.

"Solving the world's problems," joked supervising judge Neal George.

Of the four polling precincts visited by the Journal-World so far, none have reported any problems with the new voter ID law.

- Shaun Hittle

10:45 Power outages don't affect voting

The clerk's office reports via Twitter that power at precinct 51, the Clinton Township Hall, was lost about an hour ago. It has been restored.

"Precinct 51,Clinton Twnshp as lost power in building. All eqpment has battery back-up, we use paper ballots, so we will continue to vote," the clerk's office wrote.

- Alex Parker

8:45 a.m. Our dispatches from the election trail begin in northwest Lawrence, at two precincts with a large percentage of registered Republican voters: Kanwaka Township Hall and Langston Hughes Elementary.

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2012/08/07/early_voting_rg64.jpg

At Kanwaka, where registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats 511 to 292, voting has slowed to a trickle following a small early morning voting rush, report election workers. As of 8:45, only 27 of more than 1,100 registered voters on the precinct had voted.

Voter Paul Grosdidier was in and out in a few minutes, and like election workers, reported no problems with the new voter I.D. requirement.

"I've had a license since I was 16," Grosdidier said. "It's a permanent part of my body."

Just shy of 9 a.m. over at Langston Hughes, the parking lot's a little more populated, and a handful of voters come and go in a few minutes. But it's still "a slow day," said veteran election worker and precinct supervising judge Valerie Roper.

48 voters had come and gone in the first two hours of voting, light showing for the county's precinct with the second largest number of registered voters at nearly 2,300. Two hours in, and roughly two percent had voted.

Voter John Esau perhaps summed up the expected low voter turnout, calling today's primary "superfluous" in his book, and simply a "warm up" for the November presidential election. But, no matter the issue or candidates, Esau said he was taking a few minutes before work to exercise his right to vote.

For those heading out to the polls, we have a couple of handy sites for you to check out. Here's our precinct map.

- Shaun Hittle

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2012/08/07/early_voting_rg65.jpg

7 a.m. Voters in Douglas County will cast their ballots in 35 races today, ranging from U.S. Congress to township trustee. Showdowns between conservative and moderate Republicans have driven the storyline of this primary, while Democrat challengers vie to unseat U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins in November.

The question of voter identification has been a hot topic this year (note: bring your ID). Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew even went so far as to issue Douglas County voting cards, a move that could be the first of its kind in the nation. So far, the county has issued seven ID cars, and Shew says he's pleased with the response.

"It's been good," he said. "I think we didn't know how many we would (issue.) The areas we have done, it's obvious this would help (the voters) out."

He expects more cards to be issued prior to the general election in November.

As for now, you can follow LJWorld.com's election coverage here throughout the day. We'll be posting updates, photos and video. When the returns start rolling in after the polls close at 7 p.m., you can find all the latest information on our elections results page.

- Alex Parker

Comments

sherbert 2 years, 4 months ago

Also, here's a full listing of Douglas County candidates. // the link in article doesn't work.

bwebcorp 2 years, 4 months ago

"voting has slowed to a trickle following a small early morning voting rush, report election workers. As of 8:45, only 27 of more than 1,100 registered voters on the precinct had voted"

Wheew!! Hope that 27 person "rush" doesn't bring down the voting system. It's a barn burner going on.

StirrrThePot 2 years, 4 months ago

I voted at Prairie Park (38) at about 8am this morning and was #32 to submit my ballot. I'll be curious to see how many have come in since that time.

StirrrThePot 2 years, 4 months ago

"For some lunchtime reading, the Associated Press at some of the major issues in this primary, ranging from the evolution question to the political infighting that's created a rift in the Republican party."

LJWorld staff--he hyperlink on this statement is not working.

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