by Mary Rupert
About 49 people had voted by noon Saturday at the downtown Election Office, casting advance ballots for the general election, according to Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Bruce Newby.
He said more than 200 people voted this morning at the satellite voting site at the Kansas Speedway near 110th and I-70 in Wyandotte County.
There were no lines at the downtown Election Office at 850 State Ave. at midday today, as advance voting expanded to include Saturday hours. Two persons were waiting outside when the doors opened, election workers said. The two voting sites will be open through 3 p.m. today.
The downtown Election Office has been open for advance voting since Tuesday. So far, there have been 691 advance votes cast at the downtown office, he added.
By mail, 4,702 advance ballots have been sent out so far, and 2,163 have already been returned, Newby said.
The two advance voting sites also will be open during weekdays before the election. For the schedule, see the link below.
Newby said he expected voter turnout for the Nov. 4 election to be characteristic of a midterm election. The last two midterm elections were 39.4 percent and 39.9 percent, he said, so his prediction for this election is 40 percent, plus or minus 2 percent.
He’d like to see a higher turnout. “Voters can prove me wrong, and they’re more than welcome to do that,” he said.
Newby said the numbers of people who use the two voting sites for advance voting will be counted, and because of the cost of staffing the office, usage will determine whether it will be offered in the future.
Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., who stopped by the Election Office today, said that there are plans to hold a “Get Out the Vote” rally in the downtown area near the Brotherhood Bank parking lot next Saturday. Sen. Haley added there were some things about current elections that he didn’t like, such as more screening of the voters through proving citizenship and showing identification, but he liked the Saturday advance voting hours.
For an earlier story on advance voting and the hours it is available, see http://wyandottedaily.com/saturday-advance-voting-opens-today-at-two-sites/.