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Board Of Canvassers Finalizes Sedgwick County Primary Votes

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Carla Eckels
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KMUW
Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman, right, speaks before the Sedgwick County Board of Canvassers Tuesday morning.

Canvassing results were finalized Tuesday at the Sedgwick County Election Office in downtown Wichita. Voter turnout for the Aug. 2 primary election was 17 percent.

One of the races, the Republican nomination for the Illinois Township Trustee, had to be determined by pulling a name out of a hat. Republican Samuel Heck was the winner and will run against Democratic candidate Michael Dreiling this fall.

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Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
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KMUW
Tabitha Lehman with the hat that decided winners of tie votes.

A couple of precinct committee races were tied, but provisional ballots decided that outcome. Only 106 votes determined the 18th District Court Judge Divison 14 race between candidates Linda Kirby and declared winner Jay Patrick Walters. Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says that’s one reason she knows that voting really does matter.

“When you are seeing all of these races we had to draw a name out of hat, when you have a county-wide race that’s decided by 106 votes, my opinion is that should never happen," she says. "We should have more people voting and it should never be that close.”

About 4300 people who registered at DMVs in Sedgwick County without a citizenship document were eligible to vote provisionally; only 15 did, and 12 were counted.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for News and Engagement at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.