Archive for Monday, November 5, 2012

Douglas County clerk predicting big turnout in county



November 5, 2012

After the close of early voting, Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew predicted a healthy showing of voters at the polls Tuesday.

“I think we are going to have a really strong turnout,” Shew said.

In-person advance voting wrapped up at noon Monday, and mail-in ballots were still flooding in, Shew said.

Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters will be picking a president, U.S. representative, state legislators and other offices.

Shew predicted a turnout of registered voters “in the high 60s” percentage-wise. In the last presidential election in 2008, 67 percent of Douglas County registered voters cast ballots.

But in 2008, there were more registered voters in Douglas County: 83,174 as compared with the current total of 78,752.

In 2008, 17,156 advance ballots were cast both in-person and by mail. During this election, that figure will be in the 15,000 range, Shew said.

Some Douglas County residents may not see their votes count because of Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the East Coast last week, Shew said.

He said he has spoken with a couple of Douglas County residents who are staying temporarily on the East Coast for work but still vote in Lawrence.

But if their mail-in ballots are not in Shew’s hands by 7 p.m. Tuesday, they will not count, Shew said. Because some mail service is still spotty on the East Coast, Shew said they are concerned the ballots won’t arrive in time.

Federal law allows overseas ballots to be faxed or emailed back, but Kansas law governs mail-in ballots within the United States back to the state and it doesn’t provide for fax or email ballots, Shew said.

This election also represents the first general election in which Kansans must show a photo ID to vote.

Acceptable forms of ID are driver’s license or government-issued nondriver’s ID card; concealed gun permit; U.S. passport; government-issued employee badge; military ID; college student ID; government-issued public assistance card; and ID card issued by an Indian tribe.

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