Election 2017

Check here for coverage of the 2017 local elections. Three seats on the Wichita City Council and four seats on the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education are on the ballot, as are dozens of other races around Sedgwick County. 

File Photo / Kansas News Service

At first glance, the Alabama Senate race doesn’t appear to offer many clues about what the 2018 election has in store.

There isn’t likely to be another campaign in which a marginal candidate attempts to hold serve for a sharply divided party while fighting unprecedented allegations of sexual misconduct under a national spotlight.

“To be sure, Roy Moore was a flawed and controversial candidate,” said Patrick Miller, a University of Kansas political scientist. “He put a race into play that never should have been in play.”

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File Photo

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is facing a newly formed fundraising committee dedicated to stopping him from becoming governor.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that "StopKobach" is a political action committee formed in August.

Michael Hoheisel says the PAC is working to establish its board and build a website. He says he's already launched a site opposing Kobach with domain names he predicts the campaign might be interested in.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

Kansas saw a jump in voter turnout in many areas this year as local elections were moved from the spring to the fall, but there could be an even larger long-term impact.

Shawnee County saw voter turnout jump from 14 percent four years ago, to more than 19 percent this year. That’s still low compared to the presidential election last year, but County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell believes this election won’t show the full effect of the change. He suspects more voters may cast ballots in future years as they get in the habit of voting every fall.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

The 2017 Kansas election is in the books as counties finished most of the work finalizing their results Thursday.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Board of Canvassers will meet Friday to certify the results of a recount in last week's  mayoral race in Haysville. According to Sedgwick County Chief Deputy Election Commissioner Sandy Gritz, the two opponents were separated by only 19 votes.

"The recount board met and located all the ballots that were cast in that race and did a hand recount of those ballots," Gritz said. "An independent verification of the hand recount found that the election results, as reported officially after the county canvass, matched the recount results exactly."

Jim McLean, File Photo / KHI News Service

Last week’s election was a test of the new voting schedule in Kansas. The new plan moved local elections to the fall instead of the spring during odd-numbered years.

State lawmakers changed the election schedule in 2015 as a way to increase voter turnout. In Sedgwick County, only eight percent of registered voters cast ballots last week.

Sedgwick County Twitter

There were a few close races in last week's general election in Sedgwick County, and some candidates may consider a recount.

In the Wichita School Board District 1 race, unofficial results showed Ben Blankley narrowly defeated incumbent Betty Arnold by 123 votes. After Monday’s canvass, that number has now shrunk to 84.

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File Photo

The Kansas Secretary of State's office says new Kansas driver's licenses could not be scanned on electronic poll books across the state during last week's local elections.

Elections Director Bryan Caskey said Monday that did not keep anyone from voting because poll workers manually type in names if scanners can't read the bar codes. He noted other acceptable voter IDs for elections, such as passports, can't be scanned.

Kansas began issuing new driver's licenses that are Real ID compliant in August.

wichita.gov

Last week’s general election was the first local one held in the fall. The change from spring elections gives newly elected Wichita City Council officials more time to prepare before they enter office.

Outgoing Councilwoman Lavonta Williams says that in the past, local elections were an “immediate transaction”: officials were elected one week, and sworn in the next.

Now, though, incoming members of the council have close to two months to prepare for their new jobs.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

It took election workers about an hour Friday to count the 122 ballots that trickled in on and after Tuesday’s election.

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