There will be a special election Aug. 1 for Barton County residents who are qualified electors of Holyrood-based Unified School District 112 regarding the disorganization of the district, County Election Officer Bev Schmeidler said.
The ballot question reads:
“Shall the following be adopted? Shall USD 112 be disorganized pursuant to K.S.A. 72-635 to pursue attachment to another school district or organization of the schools therein in anyway provided by law?
“To vote in favor of any question submitted on this ballot, darken the oval to the left of the word ‘Yes.’ To vote against it, darken the oval to the left of the word ‘No.’”
Polls will open at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. The only polling station will be located at Immaculate Conception Parish Hall, 110 E. Williamson, Claflin.
The election involves 864 voters in the northeaster corner of the county, election officials said.
Other election information:
• Any registered voter may apply for an advanced ballot by contacting Schmeidler’s office for an application, Schmiedler said. Anyone requesting an advanced ballot must provide photo ID.
Applications may also be downloaded from the Barton County website at: www.bartoncounty.org (click Departments-Elections-Advance Vote).
Signed applications may be delivered or mailed to the County Clerk or Emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Upon receipt of completed and signed applications, the Clerk’s Office will provide the voter with an advanced ballot. But, an elector cannot apply for a ballot for another voter, she said.
• The deadline to register to vote is July 11.
• An elector may vote in the Clerk’s Office from July 12, through noon Monday, July 31.
• An application for an advanced ballot for someone who is sick/disabled/illiterate may be filed during regular advanced ballot application period until the close of the polls on the day of the election.
• If returning a advanced ballot in person, the ballot must be returned to the Clerk’s Office before the close of the polls on election day. An advanced ballot may also now be delivered to the polling location.
• If returning by mail, a ballot must be postmarked on or before election day and received by the Friday following the election.
• Affidavits of assistance forms are available to assist another elector in the application and voting processes.
• The Clerk’s Office (and most courthouse offices) are moving to the former JC Penney building at 1500 Kansas St. to accommodate the installation of a new HVAC system in the Courthouse, but that date has yet to be announced.
• Early in-person voting will be determined upon the move date.
• For now, the Clerk’s Office is located at the Courthouse, 1400 Main Street, room 202, Great Bend.
Why is there a special election for USD 112?
A group of Wilson and Dorrance residents upset with Holyrood-based Unified School District 112’s decision to close Wilson Junior/High School filed a petition in Ellsworth County in May to dissolve the entire district.
The USD 112 School Board in January voted to close the school at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. Facing this, the patrons sought to petition for dissolution of the district after the board declined to take up a request for a one-year extension.
A sprawling district, USD 112 takes in portions of five counties (including Barton), with Ellsworth County serving as the county of record. It includes the communities of Holyrood,, Bushton, Claflin, Dorrance, Frederick, Lorraine, Wilson, Beaver, Dubuque, Odin and Hitschmann, with nearby rural areas.
The petition spawned the need for the special election, county officials said. Now, there will be special elections for the issue in all five counties involved.