Politics & Government

Election workers prepare for large turnout, intimidation at polls

File photo

With the presidential election less than two weeks away, election workers in Sedgwick County are preparing for a large voter turnout – and the possibility of electioneering or intimidation at the polls.

“All this animosity that we are seeing on social media, and arguments we’re seeing between people, cannot come into the polling locations,” said Tabitha Lehman, Sedgwick County Election Commissioner. “You cannot discuss it. If you are electioneering or disrupting the polling location, we will ask you to stop. If you do not, we will call the police, and we will have you arrested.”

We will not have intimidation going on at our polling places. Period.

Tabitha Lehman, Sedgwick County Election Commissioner

“We will not have intimidation going on at our polling places. Period.”

Lehman wants to remind people about electioneering laws, which apply within 250 feet of the entrance to polling places on Election Day and at advance voting sites:

▪ No attempt to persuade or influence a voter on any candidate, party or question on the ballot.

▪ No wearing of T-shirts or distributing things like buttons, stickers or fliers that support or oppose any candidate, party or question on the ballot.

▪ No signs in support or opposition of a candidate, but bumper stickers are allowed on cars in the parking lot.

80 percent Local voter turnout expected for the Nov. 8 election

Sedgwick County is preparing for 80 percent voter turnout – a large turnout compared with non-presidential election years.

“We are expecting a nice crowd,” Lehman said.

In 2008, the last presidential election without an incumbent running, local turnout was about 78 percent, she said.

On Monday, the first day of advance in-person voting, 871 people voted – a new record, Lehman said.

Voters have already returned about 10,000 of the 60,000 advance voting ballots the elections office mailed out, she said.

If you wait until Nov. 8 to vote at the polls and there are long lines, consider using a paper ballot to help expedite the process, Lehman said.

Kelsey Ryan: 316-269-6752, @kelsey_ryan