Voter turnout for Tuesday’s local elections in Sedgwick County was low, but up slightly compared to a similar election cycle four years ago.
There are more than 292,000 registered voters in Sedgwick County. Only 8 percent of them cast ballots this election.
Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says sometimes getting people to the polls comes down to what’s on the ballot.
"We had 8 percent across the county, but in Wichita City Council District 1 we had over 13 percent turnout," Lehman says. "That was a race that there was a lot of campaigning going on and a lot of discussion about that race."
Even though turnout was 8 percent, Lehman says it’s still a bit better than the 2013 local elections, when 6 percent of voters cast ballots.
"It’s two percent better, so it is better, but it is still really low," Lehman says. "so it is distressing that more people don’t get involved in these local elections."
This was the first year that city and school board elections were held in the fall.
Lehman says there were several races in Sedgwick County that had no candidates on the ballot. There were also ballots with no choices selected.
"We did see, I think it was 62 or 64 people cast completely blank ballots," Lehman says. "That says they wanted to vote but they didn’t want to vote for anything that was on the ballot, and so that’s also an indication that what was on the ballot, at least in those districts, didn’t get those people really excited about voting."
About 260 provisional ballots will be reviewed during the vote canvass Monday.
Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar
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