Article updated at 11:20 p.m. Tuesday:
Though two incumbents in Lawrence’s elected offices held onto their seats Tuesday evening, there will be a number of fresh faces serving once two new city commissioners and two new school board members are sworn in.
Once advance ballots were counted shortly after polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, incumbent Lisa Larsen had pulled into first in the race for City Commission, and newcomer Kay Emerson was in first place for Lawrence school board. Both held onto their leads throughout the evening.
In second places, newcomer Bart Littlejohn took a strong lead over other contenders for Lawrence City Commission, and incumbent Kelly Jones retained her seat on the school board.
With all precincts reporting by 9:40 p.m., newcomer Amber Sellers had pulled in front of incumbent city commissioner Stuart Boley, and Andrew Nussbaum had pulled ahead of school board incumbent GR Gordon-Ross. Read more about all the candidates and races at the links below.
The clerk’s office released the numbers from a 3:30 p.m. check of polling places for ballots cast plus advance ballots returned. Countywide, voter turnout was at about 15.4%.
Final voter turnout, with all precincts reporting Tuesday night, was 20.2%. The August primary election saw a final turnout of 10.2%.
Provisional ballots, and any advance ballots that were postmarked on or before Tuesday and arrive at the elections office by Friday, will still need to be counted. Election results will become official after the canvass on Monday, Nov. 15.
City Commissioner Jennifer Ananda’s term will soon expire, as will school board member Melissa Johnson’s. Neither filed for reelection.
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More 2021 election coverage:
In between questions about economic issues in Lawrence, such as childcare, local purchasing policy, and the Downtown Master Plan, City Commission candidates explained what role they thought the commission should have in the business community in Wednesday’s forum, hosted by The Chamber of Lawrence.