With an approximately 41 percent turnout, Finney County’s midterm voter participation was on par with its turnout in 2014.
In 2014, 6,870 of 16,977 registered residents voted in the midterm election, with a 40.5 percent voter turnout. This year, it was 8,466 out of 20,657, according to the county’s preliminary election results.
Finney County Clerk Dori Munyan said the county also had accumulated about 300 provisional votes, many of which were provided to voters that were not registered. Mailed ballots would also be accepted through Friday, she said.
Munyan said Election Day in the county was extremely busy, and that some poll workers had likened the crowds to those at the polls during the 2016 presidential election, which saw about 2,000 more total votes.
The numbers are also a significant jump from the county’s primary election, which saw a 15.8 voter turnout with 3,207 votes, according to the official election results.
“It was definitely very busy, and compared to the primary we had incredible early voting turnout,” Munyan said.
As far as percent of voters who turned out to vote, Finney County’s numbers were still the lowest among area counties, whose turnout largely neared or broke 50 percent.
Preliminary results show that Haskell County achieved about 46.7 percent turnout with 1,124 total votes cast, Hamilton about 47.9 percent with 6,161, Grant about 52 percent with 1,841, Gray about 60 percent with 1,303, Kearny 46 percent with 1,016, Lane about 57.8 percent with 737, Scott 55.3 percent with 1,848, Stanton 54 percent with 612, Stevens about 50.8 percent with 1,532 and Wichita 55.8 percent with 765, according to their respective county clerks. Greeley County’s turnout numbers were not available by press time.
Finney County’s turnout also dipped slightly below Ford County’s turnout of about 45 percent with 6,835 votes. Seward County’s turnout information was not available by press time, but their preliminary results for the general election showed 3,771 total votes.
Munyan, who became clerk in January, said her office had received feedback this year from former residents who had moved away many years ago but were still on the county’s voter rolls. She said the clerk’s office was considering "cleaning up" voter rolls in the near future, removing duplicates, people in other states or people who had not voted in a certain amount of elections, per state statute.
“I think it would just give us more accurate numbers as far as turnout. Just making sure that those registered voters are actually in the county and can come vote. If they’re on (the rolls) and they can’t (vote), they’re registered somewhere else, it definitely factors into the calculation,” Munyan said.
Republicans received the most votes in races for governor, Kansas’ 1st congressional district and the secretary of state in all area counties, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach most often received votes in the 60th percentile, Republican congressional candidate Roger Marshall was the 80th percentile and Republican secretary of state candidate Scott Schwab was in the 70th percentile across most counties.
Marshall saw the highest area percentage of his race’s vote in Stevens County, and Kobach and Schwab best support was in Wichita County.
Kobach, Marshall and Schwab fared worse and their opponents, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Laura Kelly, Democratic congressional candidate Alan LaPolice and Democratic secretary of state candidate Brian McClendon fared best in Finney County. Kelly received 36.3 percent of the vote to Kobach’s 45.5, LaPolice 36.2 percent to Marshall’s 63.7 and McClendon 38.5 to Schwab's 57.8.
Finney County also garnered the highest area votes for Independent gubernatorial candidate Greg Orman, whose running mate, John Doll, hails from Garden City. Orman received 16.5 percent of the county’s votes for governor.
Contact Amber Friend at email@example.com.