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Kansas predicts 78-percent voter turnout

As if you didn't know this already: expect a long, long night Tuesday.

Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh predicts that 78 percent of Kansas' registered voters will cast a ballot this year, or "approximately" 1,364.810 voters.

That's not a record percentage - that would be 85 percent in 1992 - but it will be a record number of voters, up 151,702 from the previous record, in 2004.

Earlier this week, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan predicted 76 percent turnout in the Show Me State.

Thornburgh said the number of contentious elections - from local school board and sheriff to the White House - is one reason to expect crowds.

But the bigger reasons, he said, are the "Obama effect" and the economy.

"More than anything else, people vote their pocketbook," he said. "There is an angry electorate."

Thornburgh offered some advice for election day, particularly to those who haven't voted before or in a while.

- If you're a first time voter in your county, bring your drivers' license or other ID. They'll ask for it.

- Don't wear any campaign hats, buttons, t-shirts and don't bring in the big election sign. It's against the law.

- Thornburgh made a special point to tell people not to bring recording equipment into the polls. He said some people on the Internet are talking about documenting their first time at the polls and posting online video of the experience. (That's sure to be a thrilling video. Who are these people?) Thornburgh told them to leave the camera in the car.

- Avoid crowds at the polls by going after 9 a.m. and before 5 p.m. Anyone in line at the polls when they close at 7 p.m. will get to vote, but don't show up at 7:01 expecting to cast a ballot.

-Expect a ballot. If you've registered and there's some problem at the polls, ask for a provisional ballot. Thornburgh said he doesn't want anyone who is registered going home without having cast a vote because of some paperwork mistake.

- Know where your polling place is. You can find out at www.voteks.org in Kansas.

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