Kansas Primary

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas is launching a voter hotline to guard against voting problems.

 

The Election Protection hotline will allow voters to call with questions or any issues they encounter at the polls this election season.

 

Kansas ACLU’s Legal Director Lauren Bond described potential issues the hotline could be used for.

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About 4,000 people attended a political rally Friday at Century II in Wichita in support of James Thompson, one of two Democrats running in Kansas' 4th Congressional District.

But perhaps the biggest draws at the "Unite for America" rally were Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who both endorsed Thompson in his second bid for Congress.

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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.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Kansas officials are counting votes from this month's primary election, including the votes cast on more than 9,000 provisional ballots across the state. It’s not yet clear how many of those are from 17,000 people affected by a recent court ruling.

Just days before the primary, a judge ruled that people who registered to vote at the DMV, without turning in a citizenship document, would be allowed to vote with a provisional ballot.

The effort to expand Medicaid in Kansas has been stuck in the political mud for the better part of three years.

Not anymore.

The results of last week’s primary election may have given expansion advocates the traction they need to overcome opposition from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative conservatives who thus far have blocked debate on the issue.

A series of victories by moderate Republicans over conservative incumbents and challengers for open seats has fundamentally changed the legislative landscape.

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Unofficial results show recent voter turnout in Sedgwick County was slightly below predictions.

There are around 281,000 registered voters in the county. More than 47,000 ballots were cast for Tuesday’s primary elections, including early voting, advanced voting by mail and ballots cast at the polls. That puts voter turnout at about 17 percent. Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman said earlier this week she expected about 20 percent of voters to participate in the primary.

Around 1300 provisional ballots still need to be counted by the county canvassing board.

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About one in four registered voters will cast a ballot in tomorrow’s Kansas primary election, according to Secretary of State Kris Kobach. He said expects about 410,000 thousand people to vote, a slight increase from the last presidential election cycle in 2012.

Kobach says the high number of contested legislative races will play a part in the higher turnout. In previous years, Kobach says, many legislative districts only had a competitive primary on either the Democratic or the Republican side.

Two residents of a Topeka care facility were prevented from voting in last Tuesday's primary election by a poll worker who didn't understand the state's voter identification law.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach confirmed Thursday that some elderly residents of Brewster Place showed up to a polling place without I.D.s and were turned away without being issued provisional ballots, as required by law.

Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell says three voters were affected and one was later able to vote.

The Kansas secretary of state's office predicts only around one in five Kansas voters will cast a ballot in this week's primary election. 

Governor Sam Brownback says it might be time for Kansas to look at moving the primary to an earlier date.

"It's late summer. A lot of people go on vacation this time of year. It's kind of the last respite before they get into the school year," says Governor Brownback. "That's part of it, but I hope people get out and vote. I encourage them to get out and vote."