Top Morning News 11.02.12
Kobach predicts voter turnout to be around 68 percent; Kansas GOP says they may lose some House seats on Nov. 6; A hydroelectric power plant in Lawrence is expected to start operating Friday.
Kobach Predicts 68 Percent Voter Turnout In Kansas
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is predicting 68 percent voter turnout in Tuesday's elections. Kobach offered the forecast Thursday.
If the prediction proves accurate, it would be the smallest percentage of Kansas voters casting ballots in a general election since 2000, when turnout was 67 percent.
Kobach notes that 2000 was the last presidential election year in which Kansas had no statewide races. Seventy-two percent of Kansas voters cast ballots in 2008.
All four of the state's U.S. House members are seeking re-election this year, but only the 2nd District and 4th District have contested races. All 125 seats in the Kansas House and all 40 in the state Senate are being contested. Five of the 10 seats on the State Board of Education are on the ballot, but only three are contested.
Kansas GOP May Lose Seats In The House
Top Republicans say Tuesday's elections could cost them a few seats in the Kansas House and reduce the influence of the chamber's GOP conservatives.
Mailers On Kansas Tax Cuts Set To Go Out Before Election
The Kansas Department of Revenue is mailing brochures to 146,000 business owners about state income tax cuts enacted earlier this year. The mailings began Wednesday, just six days before the state's general election.
Thursday, House Democratic Leader Paul Davis criticized Republican Governor Sam Brownback's administration over the timing. Revenue Department spokesperson Jeannine Koranda says the mailings cost the agency $52,000 for printing and postage.
The tax cuts will exempt the owners of 191,000 Kansas businesses from state income taxes. Koranda says the brochures are designed to answer questions that Revenue officials frequently get from business owners about the cuts.
Koranda also says the mailings weren't coordinated with the governor's office. But Davis views them as electioneering.
New Lawrence Power Plant Will Start Working Friday
Officials with a new $25 million hydroelectric power plant in Lawrence say the plant is expecting to begin producing electricity by Friday.
Leaders with the Bowersock Mills & Power Co. said the plant on the Kansas River will start operating about a month ahead of schedule. They say the summer drought allowed construction to proceed with few disruptions. However, the reduced water levels in the river means the plant will not be able to produce electricity at full capacity right away.
It will eventually generate enough electricity to power about 5,400 homes. The plant will sell its electricity to the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities.
KU Journalism School Launches PTSD Resource Site
Journalists who cover the military and post-traumatic stress disorder are getting help from a new website launched by the University of Kansas.
The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications is creating the website in conjunction with a workshop taking place November 16 at the National Press Club in Washington.
The workshop is designed to help journalists improve their coverage of post-traumatic stress and related illnesses.