Early voters coming out in record numbers
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Expanded early voting began today in Wichita. One voter, Carol Edwards said, “The way our world is running right now, we all need to be involved and this is our way of having a say of what happens at the top.”
She was just one of hundreds of voters who lined up early this morning to cast her ballot. Thursday there was more than a dozen advanced polling locations that opened giving people more opportunities to cast a ballot before next week’s primary. The Sedgwick County Extension Office was just one location that opened at 10 AM but people started lining up as early as 8 AM.
Kelly Johnson, a supervising judge for the polling location said, “This time around because there is a constitutional, proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot we have a lot of people showing up for that and that alone.”
He says it is the abortion amendment that is bringing out so many voters. But it was the long wait times at polling locations that shocked so many people. One voter, Joel Gaddie, said, “Oh absolutely I’m surprised. I was not expecting to have to wait for an hour.” Sam Bowman, another voter said, “And we were in line for about 45 minutes.”
In this contentious race, voters were excited to get out and have their voices heard. First time voter, Sophia Loerke said, “I came out here to vote for abortion rights because I think it’s really important.” Leann Cless, another voter said, “Very important race in Kansas today.”
Edwards has some advice for those worried about the lines. “Be ready to wait a little bit and don't get impatient. What's more important than helping our future generation have good laws and people that represent them?”
First time voter, Sophia Loerke is happy to be here, even if she had to wait, and she has some advice too. “To really know what you're voting for and educate yourself on the whole issue.”
Early polls will remain open Friday and Saturday in dozens of places around town.