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Elections leaders expect higher than average turnout for August primary

Johnson County Voting
Posted at 6:23 AM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 07:24:06-04

OLATHE, Kan. — The election commissioner in Johnson County, Kansas, is predicting record-breaking voter turnout for the August primary election this year.

Voters head to the polls Aug. 2 in both Kansas and Missouri.

Advance voting began July 16 in Johnson County. Election Commissioner Fred Sherman said about 1,000 people voted each hour Monday, July 25, which is above average for advance voting.

Sherman said the number of people voting in advance this year far surpasses the 2018 August primary advanced voting numbers.

During a primary, voters get a ballot specific to their political party. This year, there is a constitutional amendment about abortion on every ballot in Kansas, no matter the voter’s political party.

“Clearly the constitutional amendment question is driving a lot of voters to the polls this election cycle, so we are anticipating an unprecedented or record-breaking voter participation rate for our August primary,” Sherman said.

In Kansas City, Missouri, Director of Elections Shawn Kieffer also predicts higher than normal voter turnout. He said primary elections typically draw about 27% of registered voters. He expects more than 30% to vote this August because of “the atmosphere of what’s going on in politics.”

Ahead of election day, Kieffer and his election board staff tested tabulation machines Monday. Sherman and other Kansas election offices will test their machines Thursday.

Today is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot in Kansas.