By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
More and more people are taking advantage of advanced voting in Seward County, and according the Seward County Clerk Stacia Long, there is high local interest in the mid-term election that will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Seward County Activity Center and in the Pavillion in Kismet.
“We have had a lot of requests for sample ballots,” Long said. “People are interested and want to get educated on the issues.”
As of 9 a.m. today, 746 ballots had already been cast in advanced voting, and more than 300 ballots have been mailed out.
Whether or not more people are simply voting early out of convenience or if more ballots will be collected by the end of voting Tuesday remains to be seen.
“I think it will be interesting,” Long said. “If we have high advanced voter turnout, we generally see good voter turnout with the election. But it is not consistent. We have had high advanced voter turnout and had a slow election day. I don’t think we will have a slow day. I think it will be steady.”
The ballot will consist of nine pages and range from candidates for local offices to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Kansas Governor. It will also have a Kansas Constitution proposed amendment on the right to bear arms and will ask voters whether or not certain Kansas Supreme Court and appeals court justices should be retained.
So far, there has been few questions on the ballot from advanced voters according to Long.
“I have been pleasantly surprised,” she said. “But the ballot is really informative, it explains that voting in favor of the amendment does this and a vote against does that.”
While mid-term elections generally do not garner as much participation as presidential elections, Long said that this year has had an increase in interest.
“Compared to four years ago, there is more interest this year,” she said.
Even though the election ends at 7 p.m Tuesday., Long and her staff will have to collect all the data from the machines and compile the totals by precinct and district. They will then combine those numbers with the numbers from Kismet, which have to be driven to Liberal, to get the county-wide totals. Once those totals are gathered, they have to be entered into the abstract and uploaded to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office as well as uploaded onto the Seward County web site and released to the media.
Results are expected around 8 p.m. Watch for results, analysis and candidate reaction at www.hpleader.com as well as on Facebook with the High Plains Daily Leader.