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Pawnee County election workers report high mid-term turnout
Voters beat volunteers to the polls
Lots of voters at polls.jpg
Voters from all wards and townships surrounding Larned streamed to the polls at the Larned Community Center on election Tuesday. - photo by Veronica Coons

LARNED — Connie Fox, Joan Bohart and Billie Breils manned a check-in table a the Larned Community Center Tuesday morning. 

“I woke up at 5 a.m. in order to get here this morning,” Fox said. “There were already people standing outside when I arrived at quarter to seven.” 

That’s when voting booths opened at the center for the 2018 midterm election. By mid-morning, the three reported there had been a steady stream of voters all morning, a fact belied by the fact the parking LCC parking lot was full, even though intermittent rain and gray skies blanketed the area Tuesday morning.

It has been a record year for early voting prior to election day, Bohart said. The three have worked several elections in the past, and this one stood out to each of them as particularly well attended, especially for a mid-term, which typically sees lower voter turnout. 

“Right now lines aren’t bad,” Breils said. “Around noon and at 5:30 p.m., its going to get pretty busy.”

The three were checking in voters in need of provisional ballots. These ballots are available to voters who did not make the registration deadlines for the regular voter rolls. Reasons could include but aren’t limited to: having just moved into the district, just became a citizen or just turned 18 or simply weren’t listed in the poll book. 

“Every eligible voter gets a vote,” Breils said. 

Provisional ballots are sought after more at primary elections, Fox said, when people are registering for the first time or changing party affiliation in order to cast a vote. Still, activity was higher than in the past, they agreed.

Connie Fox, Joan Bohart and Billie Breils manned a check-in table a the Larned Community Center Tuesday morning. - photo by Veronica Coons

The Larned Community Center was the polling place for all Larned wards and surrounding townships. Voters in the cities of Garfield, Burdett and Rozel attended their own polling places. 

Fox, Bohart and Breils came prepared for the long 13-hour day ahead. They brought their lunch and something to drink. But, they all agreed, a busy election day flies by.

“It’s nice because you see friends, family, and some people you haven’t seen in a while,” Fox said. 

The unofficial vote count was released Tuesday night.  Fox said provisional ballots will be considered at the county canvass on Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. and those casting provisional ballots will be able to find out if their ballot was counted by contacting the Pawnee county election office. 

Pawnee County 

Larned City Council members are non-partisan positions. Each ward is represented by two councilpersons, and one incumbent from each of the four wards appeared on the ballot. George Elmore, Ward 2 (receiving 259 votes), was opposed by David Kennedy (receiving 126 votes), who became ineligible to serve after he moved out of Ward 2 after registering as a candidate. 

Partisan candidates on the Pawnee County ballot included County Commissioner 1st District appeared on the ballot, with only one candidate, Democrat Deborah Lewis, who received 698 votes. District Judge 24th District also appeared, with one candidate, Republican Bruce T. Gatterman, who received 1,968 votes. 

Ward 1

Candidate for Shiley Township Clerk was Republican Steve Miller (12).

Candidate for Orange Township Clerk was Republican Thomas Prescott (25).

Candidate for Garfield Township Clerk was Republican Daryl Prescott (71) 

Candidate for Ash Valley Township Clerk was Republican Jon Roy Kelty (21).

There were no candidates listed for Pleasant Valley or Larned Township Clerk. Kenneth C. Fenwick received three write-in votes for Larned Township Clerk. 

Ward 2

Candidate for River Township Clerk was Republican Steve Apley (23).

Candidate for Pawnee Township Clerk was Republican Chad Erway (38). 

Candidate for Lincoln Township Clerk was Republican Neil Ideker (7).

Candidate for Grant Township Clerk was Republican David Schartz (69). 

Candidate for Browns Grove Township Clerk was Republican Gary Pelton (110). 

There were no candidates listed for Valley Center Township Clerk.

Ward 3

Two candidates for Walnut Township Clerk were Republican Leonard Grant and Democrat Jed Fleske, who received 25 votes to Grant’s 14.

Candidate for Santa Fe Township Clerk was Republican Bryan Fischer (42).

Candidate for Grant Township Clerk was Republican David Schartz (69). 

Candidate for Browns Grove Township Clerk was Republican Gary Pelton (110) . 

There were no candidates listed for clerk of the following Ward 3 townships: Pleasant Grove and Logan. Alan Crane received 3 write-in votes for Logan Township Clerk. 

Ward 4

Clerk for Sawmill Township candidate was Republican Keith Winter (9).

Clerk for Pleasant Ridge Township candidate was Democrat Steve Hall (19).

There were no candidates listed for clerk of the following Ward 4 townships: Conkling, Keysville, Morton. Ray Colglazier received two write-in votes, and Kevin Milch one write-in vote for Keysville Township Clerk. 

State and National

When results were complete, here’s how Pawnee County voters polled for winners for U.S. House of Representatives and statewide office races:

U.S. House of Representatives Dist. 1, Republican Roger Marshall (1.494)

U.S. House of Representatives Dist. 4, Republican Ron Estes (102) (see sidebar)

Governor / Lt. Governor , Laura Kelly/Lynn Rogers, 823

Secretary of State, Scott Schwab, Republican 1422

Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, Republican 1635

State Treasurer, Jake LaTurner, Republican 1615

Commissioner of Insurance, Vicki Schmidt, Republican 1683

State House of Representatives Dist. 113, Greg Lewis, Republican 64

State Representative Dist. 117, Leonard A. Mastroni, Republican 1825

For a complete breakdown of Pawnee County votes, visit the 2018 Unofficial Kansas General Election Results at .

Ron Estes Claims Victory

WICHITA, Kan. – Tonight, Congressman Ron Estes claimed victory in the race to continue representing Kansas’ Fourth District in the House of Representatives. The results sent a clear message: Kansans want a common sense representative finding Kansas solutions to Washington’s dysfunction.

“Representing the Fourth District is the honor of a lifetime, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to keep working on their behalf,” Estes said. “We’ve accomplished a lot during my first term. The economy is booming and more people are working than ever before, our veterans are better taken care of, Medicare and Social Security are protected and our men and women in uniform received the biggest pay raise in nine years.”

Estes won re-election with a comfortable margin and is looking forward to continue serving as a common sense  problem solver. His priorities include keeping the economy moving forward, slowing the opioid crisis, combating human and drug trafficking and protecting health care for seniors and those with pre-existing conditions. He’s also committed to protecting farmers and manufactures and reforming the health care system, starting with repealing and replacing Obamacare.

“I’m looking forward to representing everyone in Kansas’ Fourth District, whether they voted for me or not,” Estes said. “Kansans should know I’ll always have their backs.”