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Voting In Kansas Primary Election Underway

Deborah Shaar

Nearly 15,000 voters in Sedgwick County cast their ballots before today's primary election.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. at sites around Sedgwick County.

Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says voting is going smoothly, despite lines at some polling places. Her office sent extra voting equipment to a few sites to offset higher turnout.

Lehman says today was the first regularly scheduled election to use the county’s new voting machines.

"This is the first one where we’ve had this many offices and races on the ballot, and what I am seeing is that it does appear that it is taking people longer to complete their ballot right now than we had hoped," Lehman says.

The machines were first used in last year’s special election for the 4th Congressional District.

She says as of Tuesday afternoon, no major problems had been reported.

"When you’re hiring hundreds of people and deploying them to work basically two days out of the year, you have those normal hiccups," she says, "and we’ve had those but nothing that’s been particularly overwhelming or concerning."

Statewide more than 89,000 voters participated in early voting by mailing in ballots or casting votes in person. The Kansas Secretary of State’s office says advance voting numbers this year are higher than the 2016 election, when 70,106 were cast.

Polls close at 7 p.m.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.