The Franklin County clerk’s office will be hopping the next few weeks as the 2019 election unfolds.
“We work very hard to be prepared for this — to plan in advance to get things done in our office — so we are ready for the volume of people coming into vote,” Franklin County Clerk Janet Paddock said. “We will take care of every single person that comes into our office.”
Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote.
“You need to be registered to vote or corrected your registration,” Paddock said. “It is important to get your registration corrected by the 15th. It makes the process go a lot smoother.”
Voter registration forms are available at the driver’s license bureau, the county clerk’s office or online. Paddock said there is a link on the clerk’s web page (franklincoks.org, click on county departments, then clerk and elections) to update voter registration.
On Wednesday, the clerk’s office will begin mailing advance ballots. Paddock said forms for advance ballots are available in her office or online. She added college students can receive an advance ballot.
Early voting runs Oct. 21 through noon Nov. 4. Those wanting to vote early may do so in the clerk’s office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Paddock said the clerk’s office will remain open until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, and on Saturday, Nov. 2, people may vote from 9 a.m. to noon.
“We will have our sign out on the street,” Paddock said. “When you see that sign, stop and come in. Bring your ID. We have had people out for a jog in the evening and saw our sign out and stopped by to vote. We had people out and about on Saturday morning that happened to see our sign out and came in to vote.”
The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5.
“We try to make voting as accessible as possible with having a couple of late nights for those people who struggle to get back in town after working in the city all day,” Paddock said. “Some people work an hour or more away. And additionally be open on a Saturday for those that work 10-hour days and don’t get back in town — leave before 7 a.m., get back after 7 p.m.”
Paddock said this is a city council/commission and school board election but also contains special questions. There will be a statewide constitutional question on the adjustment of the census. The Central Heights school board has a question on whether to change how residents elect school board members. The City of Wellsville and Princeton will have sales tax questions.
Paddock said there is a lot to be decided in this election and residents need to be vigilant in voting.
“People may think it is less important than our federal or state elections, this is where it hits closest to home,” Paddock said. “Go out and vote for those people that you personally know is going to do a good job for you on these school boards and city councils. These are your friends and neighbors that are working hard for you and they do it largely with no pay.
“When our state representatives vote to change something, generally they will vote in February or March and it does not take effect until July or even the next year. When the people at the local level are voting to change things, it ordinarily goes into effect immediately upon publication in the newspaper. I would encourage everybody to be watching your city council, school board and county commission agendas and attend those meetings if you can.”
Paddock said every vote counts and several offices will be filled by write-in votes.
“The City of Ottawa has three seats (open) and three people running,” Paddock said. “One of those (candidates) will get a two-year seat. You don’t have to vote for three people just because you can vote for three people. You could vote for only two and then that one person is getting less votes and could potentially get that two-year term.
“We have a lot of city councils that don’t have a full slate of (candidates). Lane does not have anyone on the ballot. Every (seat), including the mayor, will be elected by write-in votes. It is very important to get out there.
“Williamsburg has one person on the ballot. There will be a number of seats that will be elected by write-in. That is going on across the county. Be thinking about who you want to write-in in those spots and get out to vote.”
Here are how those questions are worded on the ballot.
The statewide constitutional amendment question reads:
“The purpose of this amendment is to eliminate the adjustment of census taken by the United States census bureau regarding nonresident military personnel and nonresident students when reapportioning the Kansas senate and house of representatives.
“A vote for this proposition would eliminate the adjustment of census taken by the United States census bureau regarding nonresident military personnel and nonresident students when reapportioning the Kansas senate and house of representatives.
“A vote against this proposition would continue in effect the requirement for the adjustment of census taken by the United States census bureau regarding nonresident military personnel and nonresident students when reapportioning the Kansas senate and house of representatives."
The Central Heights school board question reads:
“Shall the method of election of the Board of Education of the Unified School District No. 288, Central Heights, Franklin County, be changed, pursuant to K.S.A. 72-1081 et seq., from the present (3) three-member district, one (1) at large, method of election and voting Plan C; in which all electors who are otherwise qualified according to law and who reside in a particular member district may vote in both the primary and general election for the member positions of such districts and for the at large member position.”
“A 'no' vote would retain this method and plan. A 'yes' vote would change to the at-large method of election under which the school district is not divided into any member districts and all board members are elected at-large, and to Voting Plan A under which all electors, who are otherwise qualified according to law, and reside in the school district may vote in both the primary and general election for all board member positions.
“Shall a change in the method and voting plan, as described in the ballot title above, be approved?”
The City of Wellsville question reads:
“Shall the City of Wellsville, Kansas, be authorized to impose a one half (.5) of one percent City-wide general purpose retailers’ sales tax in the City, the revenue from which will be used for the benefit of the general public and for public purposes to enhance community and quality-of-life services offered within the corporate boundaries of the City, including but not limited to library services, and to assist persons or entities within the City in preserving significant historical elements of the City for future generations to enjoy, with commencement of collection of the new one half of one percent sales tax to occur on January 1, 2020; all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187 et seq., as amended?”
The city of Princeton question reads:
“Shall a retailers’ sales tax in the amount of one percent (1.00%) be levied in the city of Princeton, Kansas (the “City”), to provide additional revenue for necessary public services, reduce the need for property taxes, and for such other general governmental purposes as may be in the best interests of the city, to take effect June 1, 2020?”
Paddock said sample ballots are online and available in the clerk’s office so each voter can view their actual ballot and be prepared for those questions.