KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The battle over abortion rights appears to have prompted more voters to cast ballots in the Kansas primary election.
In Wyandotte County, a stronghold county for Democrats, voter turnout is at 35 percent for Tuesday’s election.
That’s 10 points higher than the last midterm primary in 2018.
In suburban Johnson County, more than half of registered voters cast ballots, highly unusual in a primary election.
Rural counties dominated by Republican voters also had strong turnout.
The Kansas secretary of state estimated that statewide turnout could match the record set in the 2008 presidential election — more than 63 percent.
Wyandotte County’s election commissioner says it was clear to him early on that the constitutional amendment question was fueling a surge in voter participation.
“June 24th when Roe versus Wade was announced, that following day was a Saturday,” Michael Abbott, Wyandotte County Election Commissioner, said. “We had 150 brand new voter registration applications, which is a lot for us. And each day after that it was about 100 on average. To kind of compare, usually we get 15, maybe 20. So to have over 100 a day, you could tell a lot of people were interested in the question, plus the calls we got that were coming in.”
Abbott says mail-in voting and advance voting also boosted turnout, helping to ease congestion on Election Day.
Mail-in ballots are still being received and counted as long as they were postmarked on or before Election Day.
By law, those ballots will continue to be received and counted until Friday.
Election turnout is usually larger for the general election. Abbott hopes that will be the case in November, because it means more people are participating in our democracy.
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