Advance voting surges ahead of 2022 midterm elections
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (KCTV) - Early voting finished strong in both Missouri and Kansas, with counties on both sides of the state line reporting high turnout in advance of election day.
On Monday morning, election workers at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center estimated that 500 people were voting every hour. The county reported 108,000 ballots had been cast before the polling place opened. The election office anticipated an additional 5,000 votes to come in on Monday.
A spokesperson for Johnson County, Kansas, said voter participation had increased 13% from the early voting period before the record-setting Aug. 2 primary.
A total of 463,507 registered voters are certified by Johnson County, Kansas, for this Nov. 8 General Election. In 2018, a total of 419,403 voters were certified the November general election. That year, Johnson County had a 69.4% total voter turnout rate with 272,231 total ballots cast.
Most voters seemed to take the large crowd at the Arts and Heritage Center in stride, though some had to park down the street and walk to the polling place.
“I was a little overwhelmed at how many people were here,” said Rebecca Visconte, who waited in line about 30 minutes to vote. “But, it makes me feel good that there were so many people here to vote.”
Wyandotte County reported a similarly high turnout.
A spokesperson wrote to KCTV5 and said: “As of this morning, we have had approximately 12,953 voters who have voted early. Approximately 5,637 have voted by mail ballot and 7,316 have voted early in person. This is approximately a 14.04% voter turnout.”
In Missouri, election Boards for Clay County and Jackson County both estimated that 800-1,000 people were casting early “no excuse” absentee ballots.
The Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners reported similar numbers for the voting location at Union Station, which had long lines through most of the day Monday.
Lauri Ealom, one of the directors of the KCEB, described it as a good sign of voter participation.
“This is really what we want,” Ealom said. “It shows people are coming out to vote. Essentially, when people come out this early, polling locations aren’t as long on Election Day. That’s kind of what we’re hoping for.”
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