In the final hour of election day at the polling station at the Finney County Public Library, stray residents moved in and out of voting booths, taking advantage of their rights and casting a ballot to support issues that mattered to them.
Voters walked in alongside their young children or aided an elderly parent, some coming in because they valued the right to vote, others drawn specifically to the Kansas governor’s race.
“I think it’s the duty of any citizen to vote...” said Kent Scott, a Garden City voter. “If you didn’t participate, don’t gripe about it. And I gripe a lot, so I participate a lot.”
Finney County achieved 15.54 percent voter turnout, and County Clerk Dori Munyan said advance voting numbers were comparable to the 2016 primary.
“It’s been about average for a primary, maybe a little better than a normal primary. We’ve never had a long line, but we’ve had several voters,” said Donna Collins, a voting booth attendant at the library.
The election was the first under Munyan’s watch, and she said it went “amazingly well” considering challenges over the past few months. Election day itself had no issues, she said.
In May, the office had to break apart some precincts, meaning there were more to work with than in past years. And in June, community members submitted preliminary paperwork for petitions to recall members of the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees, which Munyan said fell in the middle of election preparation.
In an attempt to fight malware, the county shut down its computer network twice in July amidst in-person advance voting, and Munyan notified the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office about any inconveniences to comply with voting practices. As she said then and now, however, the shutdowns had “no impact at all” on any county voting processes.
Voter turnouts in area counties were higher, with 20 percent in Hamilton County, 29.4 percent in Wichita County, 25.8 percent in Kearny County, 27.7 percent in Gray County, 27 percent in Haskell County, 29 percent in Scott County and 34 percent in Stanton County.
“This is my first year ... It was an exciting time, and I look forward to November to do it all again,” Munyan said.
Contact Amber Friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.