This episode of Lawrence Times TV gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Douglas County election headquarters, just hours before they announced the results of Tuesday’s primary election.
The primary advanced six candidates hoping to fill three Lawrence City Commission seats and two candidates hoping to fill one school board seat.
The office of Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew handles all federal, state and local elections. Shew expects generally low voter turnout for elections like Tuesday’s.
Even though only about 10% of registered voters cast ballots during odd-year primaries, Shew says these local elections have a big impact on people’s day-to-day lives. City commissioners decide on important issues like homelessness programs and housing issues, and protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming folks; school board members shape policies around school budgets and closures.
While workers at the election offices count, shuffle, and organize ballots, much hangs in the balance.
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Jordan Winter (she/her), a contributor to The Lawrence Times, is a 2019 KU grad with degrees in journalism and political science.