Archive for Friday, November 7, 2008

County to review provisional ballots on Monday, finalize vote totals

November 7, 2008

Even though Douglas County’s election results seemed decisive in most national, state and local races Tuesday night, election officials still have work to do.

The Douglas County Clerk’s Office began auditing the precinct books and investigating the 2,204 provisional ballots cast in the election.

The county commission will decide the fate of those ballots at 10 a.m. Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass. It is a public meeting.

Provisional ballots were given to voters for several reasons during the election, mainly if there was some question about a voter’s eligibility.

Some provisional ballots might not count if there is no evidence the voters were registered in Douglas County.

But a majority of them likely will be added to the county’s vote totals — as long election officials can prove someone didn’t vote twice or if a first-time voter brings in two forms of identification to election officials before the 10 a.m. Monday, said Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew.

While the 62 percent turnout for Tuesday’s election did not meet Shew’s prediction of near 80 percent, he said a record number of people still went to the polls. Unofficially — without including provisional ballots — 51,570 of 83,174 registered voters cast ballots in this election. In the November 2004 election, 51,267 people voted, but the county had fewer registered voters that year so that meant the percentage voting that year was higher than this.

The lowest turnout Tuesday was reported in precincts near Kansas University where Shew said a number of inactive voters — people who have moved from the county — remain on the books.

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