Last-minute rallies precede August 2nd primary
On the last weekend before the Aug. 2 primary election, Kansans across the state made their last-ditch efforts to get their voices heard ahead of the upcoming vote during two different rallies.
The proposed abortion amendment was behind two rallies. One in El Dorado Sunday encouraged people to “Vote No” on that amendment.
“We've been doing this for a month and a half every Sunday at 10:00 at the park in the shade, and so this is the first time we're doing it here, and so it is making a statement,” attendee Sonja Sommers-Milbourn said.
The group gathered at the Butler County Courthouse. Sommers-Milbourn said rallies like this are an important example for future generations.
“I think that people need to realize that it is worthwhile to stand up and speak up and to not be intimidated by what they might perceive as the majority,” she said.
In Newton Saturday, a different group showed up in support of the “Value Them Both” amendment. It gathered in front of a church with signs urging people to “Vote Yes.”
“We're looking at this as like the culmination of all the work that we've done the last six months, trying to get, you know, people aware of the issues and have to be able to make an informed decision about the ‘Value Them Both’ amendment,” Mike Fellows with Harvey County Value Them Both said.
Counter protesters also showed up. Political experts say all this action is normal so close to the final vote on a major issue like this.
“Today is a pretty important day for the “Vote Yes” campaign to get out, get awareness out,” Lance Gormley, Harvey County Young Republicans chairman, said at the rally in Newton Saturday.
Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wichita State University Neal Allen said campaigns usually spend the last few days before an election getting their core supporters to vote instead of persuading undecided voters to choose a side. He said Kansans will likely see an increase in political ads on television and at their doorstep as well.
“If you care a lot about this issue and you have resources, then you don't want them to be sitting there a week from now when they can't do any good.,” Allen said. “The few days before any election always look chaotic.”
Early voting locations in Sedgwick County closed Sunday. The Sedgwick County Election Office will open up Monday from 8 a.m. to noon for people to vote early one last time before Tuesday, Aug. 2.