The results from last Tuesday’s local elections in Marion County saw a 60 percent voter turnout based on eligible voters, according to Marion County Election Officer Tina Spencer.
Hillsboro resident Dana Maxfield has worked at all of the elections the last several years at the Hillsboro United Methodist Church polling site. She also noticed a higher turnout than previous elections.
“Turnout was great! The first few hours were the busiest as usual, but it was steady the rest of the day, too. We had 1,032 voters show up today,” said Maxfield on Nov. 6.
“I think we had a really smooth election in Marion County. All of the poll workers did a great job. There were really no lines. It seemed like everyone was processed through quickly and efficiently, and I was really proud of that,” said Spencer.
The polls closed at 7 p.m. with results flowing in to Spencer and her staff afterwards. In addition to tallying the votes of the various precincts in Marion County, the mailed in ballots had to be counted as well which took extra time since many of the mailed ballots had to be counted due to the machine struggling to read the folded ballots.
“The trend is moving toward a lot more early voting,” said Spencer.
According to Spencer, there were 807 in person early voters and 383 advance ballots had been received by mail based on numbers compiled on Wednesday. The combined total of early and advanced voting was 1,190 which was more than double that of the last mid-term election.
While the early voting means more voters participating, it also creates more work for the Marion County Board of Elections.
“It’s got to be accurate and we need to know that our numbers are good. We had a slow night on county (elections), but I would much rather it be long and accurate than to rush through. Ideally, fast and accurate is my goal, but it doesn’t always work that way,” said Spencer.
All results are unofficial until they are canvassed by commissioners. They will be official over a week after the actual election happened. The canvass will be on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The Board of Elections will sign off on them once that is done. The final and official results will be announced then.
“The election is a process. It’s not just a day. There is still a lot of work. There is a ton of work that leads up to it. There’s a ton of work after the election, too, to finalize everything and to research all of the situation,” said Spencer. “We’re still receiving early voter ballots in the mail. As long as they were postmarked on or before election day and we receive them by Friday, we have to still count them. So the numbers will change and people need to understand that what’s reported on election night is just partial results. It’s not everything. The process is still ongoing. We’ve got at least another week of very focused, very hard work to get it wrapped up.”
See the accompanying chart for a breakdown of the votes for each precinct in Marion County. All results can also be found on the County website at www.marioncoks.net.
The results of the items on the ballot not shared by all the precincts in Marion County were as follows:
Kansas House District 70
Jo Schwartz (D) 32% 599
John E. Barker (R) 68% 1,265
Kansas House District 74
Stephen Owens (R) 2,283
Commission District 1
Kent D. Becker (R) 1,442
Burns City Council (3 positions)
Kimberly Koop (U) 42
Hillsboro City Council – Ward 1
Brent Driggers (R) 405
Hillsboro City Council – Ward 2
Byron McCarty (R) 461
All of the judges on the Judicial Retention ballot were retained.
The change to move to a five member Commission Board passed with 2,450 votes for yes and 2,016 no votes.