Polls close in Douglas County, results expected soon

photo by: Whitney Mathews

LJWorld.com reporter Mark Fagan shows off his I

7 p.m. update

Polls in Douglas County are now closed. Head over to our post about election results for the latest information.

–Whitney Mathews

6:30 p.m. update

With polls only open for another 30 minutes, we’re still getting some poll checks from you:

– Justin Langford reported 158 voters at Central Junior High School, 1400 Massachusetts Street, at 6 p.m. and LJWorld.com Community Editor Caroline Trowbridge reported 164 at the same location just a few minutes after.
@cdickerson was voter No. 31 at Plymouth Congregational Church
@donknotts was voter No. 98 at Lawrence High School, 2017 Louisiana Street, at 5:38 p.m.

Polls close at 7 p.m., so you still have time to go vote!

— Whitney Mathews

5:20 p.m. update

Just a few more poll checks as we enter the home stretch for voting. If you haven’t cast your vote, you have a bit over an hour and a half left.

Lecompton: 50 voters. (Thanks RoeDapple!)

Corpus Christi Church: 165 voters. (Thanks Ralph Gage.)

Lawrence Visitors Center (aka Union Pacific Depot): 116 voters. (Thanks @ladyshepks!)

Lawrence Visitors Center (aka Union Pacific Depot), as of 5:30: 149 voters. Thanks @whatsupdrew.

Trinity Lutheran Church: 113 voters. (Thanks David Ryan.)

— Jonathan Kealing

4:50 p.m. update

The 3:30 turnout numbers are in and it’s not good for turnout in Douglas County.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said voter turnout in Lawrence and Douglas County stood at just 8 percent as of 3:30, including advance voting numbers. That’s well below the 20 percent prediction he offered earlier, but Shew was still holding out hope that turnout will match the 2009 total of 14 percent.

— Chad Lawhorn

3:47 p.m. update

If you voted, are you still wearing your sticker? Yes? Snap a picture of yourself and send it our way. We’ll add your photo to the website.

LJWorld.com reporter Mark Fagan posed for the iPhone camera a few minutes ago. Mark is covering the Lawrence school board race.

photo by: Whitney Mathews

LJWorld.com reporter Mark Fagan shows off his I

And here are some more poll checks:

– Lysette DeBoard said the Church of Christ, 201 North Michigan Street, has had 50 voters as of 3:30 p.m.
@larryvillelife was voter No. 100 at the Douglas County Senior Center, 745 Vermont Street, about 3:45 p.m.

— Whitney Mathews

3:06 p.m. update

If you’re looking for official voter turnout numbers, check out today’s Town Talk. Chad Lawhorn has posted a document with numbers as of 10:30 a.m., and reports that all five of the precincts with the highest turnout are west of Iowa Street. We’ll get another update later this afternoon.

More poll checks are coming in, too. Remember you can send yours to me (wmathews@ljworld.com), leave it in the comments of this post or tweet using #lawrencevote:

– LJWorld.com reporter Brenna Hawley reports 94 voters at Southwest Junior High School, 1101 George William Way, as of 2:30 p.m.
Catiefan was voter No. 77 at Central Junior High School, 1400 Massachusetts Street, at 12:35 p.m.
LTownBaby was voter No. 141 at Mustard Seed Church, 700 Wakarusa Drive, at 1:30 p.m.
Gabe Hunninghake was voter No. 108 at 1:30 p.m.
– Bill Troxel was voter No. 69 at Lawrence Heights Christian Church, 2321 Peterson Road, at 2:25 p.m.

— Whitney Mathews

2:37 p.m. update

We’re getting more poll checks from around the city, especially on Twitter under the #lawrencevote hashtag:

@wowiemochakt was voter No. 88 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2104 Bob Billings Parkway, at noon.
– LJWorld.com reporter George Diepenbrock, @gdiepenbrock, was voter No. 94 at Hillcrest School, 1045 Hilltop Street, at 2:15 p.m.

There are also some new poll checks in the comments of this post:

spinmama was voter No. 30 at Cordley School, 1837 Vermont Street, at 8:30 a.m. By the lunch hour, workinghard reports 77 voters had cast ballots.
SWJayhawk13 was voter No. 97 at Corpus Christi Catholic School, 6001 Bob Billings Parkway, at 12:30 p.m.

— Whitney Mathews

12:55 p.m. update

I just ran traffic numbers for today and ran into an interesting statistic.

We’ve had special guides for the City Commission election and for the Lawrence School Board election since early February. In the two months, we’ve accumulated a couple thousand pageviews, probably primarily from our staff and the candidates themselves. But, in the last 36 hours, people have turned to those pages by the tens of thousands. So, if you’re yet to vote, and you’re not sure who most agrees with your point of view, head over to our City Commission page and Lawrence School Board page to check out past chats, profiles, financial reports, biographies and even a candidate selector.

Also, if you’re more into video, we’ve also seen a surge in popularity of our Three Questions With a Candidate videos. First, the City Commission candidates, shot and edited by Chad Lawhorn. Next, the school board candidates, shot and edited by Mark Fagan.

— Jonathan Kealing

12:30 p.m. update

It’s almost lunch time, and Jamie Shew says voters have a long way to go to get to his prediction of 20% turnout. Shew released vote totals by precinct as of 10:30 a.m., which also includes advanced voting numbers. Chad Lawhorn will have an analysis of the early totals in a little while.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest poll checks from our staff, and the community.

Pinckney School: 38 voters (Thanks Ashleigh Price!)

Prairie Park School: 28 voters (Thanks @j_cuttell!)

Kennedy School: 26 voters (Thanks to Jamie Shew himself.)

Schwegler School: 25 voters (Thanks to Christy Little)

Trinity Lutheran Church: 32 voters (Thanks to LJWorld.com user dogsandcats!)

Trinity Luthern Church, at 12:20 p.m.: 54 voters (Thanks to Mike Yoder!)

11:55 a.m. update

As Chad Lawhorn has journeyed from west Lawrence to east Lawrence, a trend is emerging. Higher turnout in western precincts than in eastern ones.

In his latest round of poll checks, he’s found lowest numbers at polling places east of Massachusetts Street and north of 23rd Street. Here are his latest poll reports, from between 10:45 and 11:45 a.m., as well as a couple from the public.

Schwegler Elementary: 21 voters. (Thanks @alegreen85!)

Jewish Community Center: 24 voters. (Thanks @oxfordist!)

Kennedy Elementary: 22 voters (out of 1785 registered). A poll worker at Kennedy was surprised at the low turnout in eastern areas, especially when reminded about how school consolidation will more likely impact schools in the eastern parts of the city.

East Lawrence Recreation Center: 37 voters (out of 1167 registered).

New York Elementary: 30 voters (out of 953 registered).

Lawrence Senior Center 52 voters (out of 1,028 registered). Richard Logan, who was voting at the senior center said he “didn’t have any burning issue. There was nothing that stood out that really would bring people out. I’m so damn old I don’t have to worry about the schools.”

— Jonathan Kealing

11 a.m. update

LJWorld.com reporter Chad Lawhorn is out on the streets, checking on voter turnout at a number of precincts.

We’ve also received a few other reports from the general public, so here’s a raft of post 10 a.m., pre 10:45 a.m. poll checks.

First Southern Baptist Church: 20 voters. (Thanks County Commissioner Mike Gaughan.)

First Presbyterian Church: 57 voters (out of 2400 registered). (Thanks to an anonymous LJWorld.com user.)

Prairie Park School: 30 voters. (Thanks @stevencraig78!)

Pioneer Ridge: 67 voters (out of 1301 registered). Poll workers said it had been steady, but no big rush.

First Southern Baptist: 56 voters (out of 1,770 registered).

Mustard Seed Church: 70 voters (out of 1,734 registered).

American Legion: 56 voters (out of 981 registered).

Pinckney: 34 voters (out of 938 registered). “I thought we would have more, but we don’t ” said poll work Katie Armitage.

— Jonathan Kealing

10:30 a.m. update

Here are a couple of photos of Lawrence residents out at the polls, by staff photographer Kevin Anderson.

I always like seeing parents bringing their kids to the polls. It reminds me of many trips with my parents when they went to vote and I watched (and probably asked a million questions). I think that early memory is a big reason why I believe so strongly in the importance of elections.

photo by: Kevin Anderson

Jay Hester, right, marks his selections on his ballot while his son Oliver, 14 months, waited behind him on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at New York Elementary School.

photo by: Kevin Anderson

Tony Peterson stopped by New York Elementary School Tuesday, April 5, 2011, to cast his vote. On the ballot were races for Lawrence City Commission and Lawrence School Board.

And now, for a couple of poll checks:

Pinckney: 29 voters. No line. (Thanks @revelentil!)

Trinity Lutheran Church. 27 voters. (Thanks @kail_panille!)

Remember, you can post your poll checks in the comments below, you can send them to us via email to editor@ljworld.com, you can tweet them @LJWorld, or you can use the #lawrencevote hashtag in your tweet. Or, you can even post them post them on our Facebook page.

But whatever you do, get out and vote.

— Jonathan Kealing

9:30 a.m. update

More of our staff is making it to the polls now. I just returned from casting my ballot at the East Lawrence Recreation Center.

photo by: Jonathan Kealing

An American flag and a voting sign greeted those who were headed to the polls at the East Lawrence Reaction Center Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Though volunteers were ready inside with a large stack of ballots, by 9:30 just 14 ballots had been cast there.

The volunteers there looked eager to help anyone who walked through the door, but that wasn’t happening all too often.

One volunteer, however, said she was going to try and prime the pump a little bit … by eating some food. She said it never fails that when she starts to eat, they get a line. I walked through the door, but no one else followed while I was there.

Now, the poll checks:

East Lawrence Recreation Center: 14 voters. No lines. Four awesome volunteers.

Free State High School: 37 voters. Automatic ballot counting machine was malfunctioning. (Thanks Dennis Anderson.)

Pioneer Ridge Retirement Center: 56 voters. (Thanks Ann Gardner!)

— Jonathan Kealing

9 a.m. update

More polling reports are flowing into the News Center and they all indicate one thing: low turnout. But if you’re reading this and haven’t voted, you can turn that around by going to your polling place right now and voting.

One other factor to consider is that advance voting has been underway for some time. In a chat with us, Jamie Shew said advance voting turnout was up over the 2009 election.

So we’ll see if that’s a factor.

Onto the polling reports:

As of before 9 a.m.:

Southwest Junior High School: 26 voters. No lines. Great volunteers. (Thanks @daviddjohnston!)

Pinckney: 18 voters. (Thanks Scott Criqui)

— Jonathan Kealing

8:45 a.m. update

LJWorld.com reporter Chad Lawhorn was voter No. 20 at the Eudora Township polling place. Poll workers told Chad that turnout was very low, and that they normally have at least 20 voters within the first 15 minutes of the poll opening.

Commenter hail2oldku reported (in the comments of this post, of course) that by a little after 8 a.m. the First Baptist Church polling place, 1330 Kasold Drive, had only seen 15 voters. Thanks for the report!

If you’re on Twitter, you also can tweet your poll checks and tag them with #lawrencevote.

— Whitney Mathews

8 a.m. update

Polling reports are trickling in this morning. If you have one to share, you can e-mail it to editor@ljworld.com, or post it in the comments below.

Here’s what we have so far.

As of about 7:40 a.m.

– North Lawrence: Four voters. No line. Friendly volunteers. (Thanks @jakelowen
– East Lawrence Rec Center: One other voter, but no waiting. Few ballots cast.
Trinity Lutheran: Seven voters. No lines. Friendly volunteers. (Thanks Lindsey T.)

Polls are open until 7 p.m. tonight. If you’re trying to make up your mind on who to vote for, I suggest reading the transcript of our candidate chats. They were really helpful to me in making my decision.

You can access City Commission candidate chats from the City Commission Race page, and Lawrence School Board candidate chats from them School Board Race page.

— Jonathan Kealing

6 a.m. update

Happy election day, Lawrence! Today, you will decide which candidates will make the tough choices facing the city and school board for the next few years.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. If you need to find your polling location, visit the Kansas Secretary of State website and click on “Search Your Polling Place.”

If you’re still undecided on which Lawrence candidates you will vote for, check out the elections section on LJWorld.com. You can access it at ljworld.com/elections. After 7 p.m., the elections section will display the latest race results from Douglas and surrounding counties. Before 7 p.m. you’ll find:

– Candidate selectors
– Candidate information
– “Three Questions” videos from Lawrence candidates
– Live chat transcripts
– Recent election news
– Straw polls

If you lose track of the URL, you can find it in two places on our home page:

If you’re voting today, do a poll check and email us the results at editor@ljworld.com. If you do, we’ll include your information in our election day blog post. To do a poll check, ask the poll judge how many people have voted in your precinct that day. Then email us the following info:

– Amount of people who voted
– Time you voted
– Precinct where you voted
– Your name

You can also tweet us the poll check. Just tag your poll check tweet with #lawrencevote and mention @LJWorld. We’ll retweet you and add your information to our coverage.

Keep checking this blog for updates throughout the day. We’ll post photos, videos and short stories all about today’s races.