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Election year woes

New districts hold up early voting

POSTED June 26, 2012 2:56 p.m.
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Due to headaches created by the statewide House and Senate redistricting, it is a frustrating year for Barton County Election Officer and County Clerk Donna Zimmerman.
“We’re struggling,” she said. “It’s a tough year for elections.”
Bugging her the most is the potential delay in the start of advance voting for the Aug. 7 primary. Normally, her office likes to get this going as soon as legally possible and this year that would be July 18.
However, there is still no certified list of candidates from the Kansas Secretary of States Office. “We’re short about 10 days or two weeks,” Zimmerman said.
This means advance voting may not start until July 26 or as late as July 30. “That’s only a week and a day away from the election,” she said of the primary. “We won’t be rolling this out as soon as we’d like.”
Here’s the hang-up – Barton County’s electronic voting machines are supplied by Omaha, Neb.,-based Electronic Systems and Software, which also programs and furnishes the electronic modules containing the ballots that plug into the machines.
This information is provided to the company by the county for the local races and the state for the others. Because of the redistricting, the state’s portion is not ready.
“Every 20 years, we have our most difficult election cycles,” Zimmerman said. This is when the decennial redistricting fight lands on a presidential election year.
Advance voting has become an important part of local elections, Zimmerman said. Out of  16,000
In other election news, election supplies are being ordered and poll workers and polling places have been secured, Zimmerman said.

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