Douglas County and Kansas statewide presidential preference primary results indicate support for Biden, Trump

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Post last updated at 11:41 p.m. Tuesday, March 19:

Kansas’ presidential preference primary results Tuesday showed that majorities of voters support incumbent President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump in their respective partisan races.

Kansas has departed from its typical presidential caucus format and instead held a presidential preference primary this year.

Kansas Reflector reported that the primary was expected to provide Kansas’ political parties with higher voter turnout rates, though some expressed concern that the primary would be expensive and confusing to voters who are used to the caucus system.

Voters will not directly select the party candidates: “It is a ‘preference’ primary because it is an election where the vote totals are given to a political party to allocate delegates to candidates at the national convention,” according to the Douglas County clerk’s office.

Kansas’ Democratic and Republican parties each have 39 delegates to represent the state at the parties’ national conventions, coming up in August and July, respectively.

Here are the final results from election night, with ballots for all 4,131 Kansas precincts — including 101 Douglas County precincts — counted:

Democratic candidates on the ballot were incumbent Biden, Jason Michael Palmer, Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson. Republican candidates on the ballot were Ryan L. Binkley, Ron DeSantis, Nikki R. Haley and Trump.

Turnout was relatively low for the election. The Douglas County clerk’s office reported that overall turnout as of a 3 p.m. update was just short of 5%. For comparison, at the 3 p.m. check in the August 2023 primary, turnout was just short of 7%.

Ultimately, with all Douglas County precincts counted, turnout came in at 10.5% — close to the total of 10.7% turnout the August 2023 primary saw.

The presidential preference primary can only happen with a vote by the Kansas Legislature. In 2023, a bill to hold the primary passed 86-32 in the House and 28-12 in the Senate. The only previous state-run presidential preference primaries in Kansas have been in 1980 and 1992, according to the clerk’s office.

Election results are not final until after an audit, which will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 21 at the Douglas County Elections Office, 711 W. 23rd St.

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