Voter turnout so far today is on track for about a 15 percent turnout, according to Election Commissioner Bruce Newby.
Newby said that by noon, 7,651 persons had voted in the spring general election, equaling about a 9.36 percent turnout.
The polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at about 30 polling places throughout Wyandotte County. The contest getting the most attention is the Unified Government mayoral race. Mark Holland and Ann Murguia are running for the open mayor’s seat, as Joe Reardon is not seeking re-election.
Newby said the election office received 2,808 advance ballots by mail; 809 advance votes in person; and 4,034 votes at the polling places so far today.
He said he had anticipated a turnout of 12 to 15 percent for this election.
“If the voting continues at the current pace, we would end today with slightly less than 15 percent turnout,” he said. “I’m hoping the voting increases.”
The last two nonmayoral city elections had a 15.9 percent turnout. The last mayoral election, in 2009, had an 18.2 percent turnout.
When Joe Reardon was first elected in 2005 in a contest with Rick Rehorn, turnout was 32.7 percent, he said. For the Carol Marinovich-Elmer Sharp contest in April 2001, the turnout was 34.7 percent, he said.
Unless they increase, the turnout numbers today headed toward less than 15 percent are somewhat disappointing, less than one would expect for a mayoral election, he said. He thought there were enough differences between the candidates to generate some voter activity.
In the primary, advance voting was 1,070 in one day only – the day before the snowstorm, he added. There were 809 advance votes for the entire advance voting period for the general election.
Today’s weather is sunny and nice, presenting no challenges for voters to get to the polls.
“I would like to see the numbers go up, but we’ve got to get an afternoon rush for that to happen,” Newby said.
In early voting, Piper area residents have had a good turnout. Open Door Baptist Church had 326 voters, and Living Water United Methodist Church had 327 voters, the two highest polling places so far, he said. Bonner Springs Church of the Nazarene saw 203 voters; Edwardsville Community Center, 211; Immanuel Baptist Church at 88th and Parallel, 190; National Guard Armory, 160; Piper Middle School, 174; Risen Lamb Church of the Nazarene, 53rd and Metropolitan, 197; and Trinity Community Church at 50th and Parallel, 197.