One more election in the books, said County Clerk Donna Zimmerman. The April 1 results were canvassed by the Barton County Commission Monday morning and are now finalized.
The polling included city council elections in Ellinwood, Great Bend and Hoisington, as well an election for the Ellinwood District Hospital Board. In addition, there was a special question regarding a half-cent sales tax in Great Bend.
But, she said, there were some changes in polling places that may have created some confusion among voters.
This election yielded a low voter turn-out with some precincts only garnering a 2 percent voter participation, Zimmerman said. The total number of eligible voters who could have participated in the voting was 12,253, however, only 1,336 cast ballots, for an over all turn-out of about 11 percent.
The low voter turn-out was expected and it was one of the factors considered when determining precinct polling locations, she said. While Zimmerman worries about voter confusion in moving polling locations for these smaller elections, she also considers the cost of conducting an election.
The expense of board workers, polling site rentals and the use of additional voting equipment are factors, the county clerk said. There is also the programing cost of having the electronic modules inserted into the voting machines.
The use of the new machines has sped up the tabulation process, but has also increased the price of an election. The cost of an April election can run about $20,000, while November elections, which are typically larger and more involved, can cost $40,000.
This is why her office consolidates voting in the spring.
“We hate to confuse our voters,” Zimmerman said. But, the changes are not made on a whim.
The usual polling locations will be utilized in the August primary and November general elections this year.
She urges you to go to VoterView myvoteinfo.voteks.org/ or call her office at 620-793-1835 for polling location information as the election season nears.