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Sedgwick County disqualified dozens of ballots over lack of ID

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, at 4:45 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at 6:51 a.m.

Eighty voters in Sedgwick County showed up at the polls without an ID, election commissioner Tabitha Lehman said Thursday as commissioners met to canvass votes from the Nov. 6 general election.

Nineteen of those 80 people eventually provided proof that they were eligible to vote, Lehman said. The rest did not, and their votes won’t be counted.

Commissioners considered several boxes of provisional ballots, deciding which ones to count and which to throw out. After the canvass, Lehman’s staff began counting those that weren’t tossed out.

Just shy of 180,000 people, or 65 percent of registered voters, cast a ballot in last week’s election, Lehman said. Of those who voted, 52 percent did so in advance by mail or by voting early.

Some notable numbers from the canvass:

• Voters wrote in 30,000 suggestions for candidates.

The number of write-ins didn’t just beat previous records, “it blew the record out of the water,” Lehman said.

Voters wrote in about 20,000 suggestions in district court judicial races.

• The election office sent out 19 advance ballots incorrectly, meaning that some voters cast a ballot on races not in their district. Canvassers decided to count their votes on eligible races, including the presidential races.

• Advance ballots were sent out, automatically, to eight people who had died since the last election. Lehman stressed that no one tried to use those ballots.

• About 43 people didn’t sign their provisional ballot envelope at the polls or by mail. Their votes won’t be counted.

• Two people arrived at the polls too late to vote. People who were in line at 7 p.m. got to vote.

• Two people put their ballots into one envelope. Their votes won’t count.

• Lehman showed six boxes of ballots by people who were not registered to vote, including some convicted felons whose votes might have counted if they had re-registered to vote.

• Canvassers threw out two boxes of ballots that came in the mail after the election.

Canvassers will meet again at 1:30 p.m. Friday after the votes they allowed Thursday have been counted.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com.

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