Downtown Baldwin City polling sites consolidated for Tuesday’s primary
Although most of the fun and heat in this year’s Kansas primary election is on Republican ballot, the Douglas County Clerk’s office is ready for all 74,926 of the county’s registered voters.
Douglas County deputy elections clerk Benjamin Lampe said the outreach to Baldwin City will start an advance voting site from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Baldwin City Fire Station, 610 High St. Registered voters can pick up advance ballots to cast at the fire station or to take home.
Lampe said voters leaving with the ballots would face some urgency in mailing or returning them to the county clerk’s office. All advance ballots must be returned to the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Tuesday to be counted, he said.
With that deadline, Lampe advised against mailing advance ballots on Monday. They could be returned to the clerk’s office or placed in a drop box outside the Douglas
Unlike in past years, Baldwin City voters will not return to the fire station on election day when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For at least this election cycle, Baldwin City precincts 60 and 62 will vote in the Lumberyard Arts Center, 718 High St.
Lampe said the clerk’s office found the fire station an attractive place for voting put a shortage of parking there and at the America Legion prompted moving the polling site for the two precincts to the Lumberyard. The consolidation will also end the confusion that often had voters showing up at the wrong precinct to vote, he said.
“We love the fire station,” Lampe said. “We want to keep using it for advance voting.”
Precinct 61 voters will continue to vote at the Baldwin Junior High School Performing Arts Center.
The polling site for precinct 63 again will be the Vinland United Methodist Church, and precinct 59 residents will vote at Marion Township Hall.
The Republican Party ballot has a number of top-of-the ballot challenges to prominent incumbents, which may drive voter turnout. Lampe said the county’s 27,635 registered voters with an unaffiliated registration can join the 21,270 registered Republicans in voting in the GOP primary if they declare themselves Republicans at polling sites.
Those voters with existing party registrations will not be able to change their affiliation until after the election. With that, those local voters among the 783 Douglas County registered with the Libertarian Party need not worry about going to the polls. There are no contested primary races or a ballot for the party next Tuesday.
Also absent from the primary is any county- or township-level contested races, at least in the southern part of Douglas County. Baldwin City’s representative on the Douglas County Commission, 2nd District Commissioner Nancy Thellman, was re-elected in 2012 to a four-year term. Those running for township offices in local townships do not face any primary opposition.