Wrong instructions included on primary election ballot in Coldwater

COLDWATER, Kan. Tuesday's primary election for the Coldwater City Council race hit a snag because the ballot included wrong directions for voters.

The instructions advised residents to vote for four candidates instead of two. But some say they did not notice anything wrong when they went to vote.

"I voted for the two that I wanted and I didn't see any error," says Coldwater resident Jerry Lenertz.

Seven candidates are running in the election for two open city-council seats. The top two vote getters in Tuesday's primary election square off in the Nov. 7 general election.

The printed ballot said "Vote for four."

The Kansas Secretary of State's Office clarified that the ballot's instructions should have told voters to choose no more than two candidates.

The Secretary of State's Office admits this is not the first time something like this has happened, but says they spoke with the Comanche County clerk to assure the problem was fixed before polls opened in Coldwater. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State's Office says the county clerk made changes by hand on the paper ballots.

Eyewitness News also asked the county clerk how the problem was corrected for electronic ballots. We have yet to hear back with an answer.

The county clerk's office says workers at the poll were reminding each voter to only vote for the maximum of two candidates. The clerk's office says signs were also printed and posted on the electric voting machine with the same instructions.

This was a mistake that voters like Lenertz say reminds them that no one is perfect.

"You know, down here when we quit making mistakes, they take us east of town to the cemetery," Lenertz says.

There were 15 advanced ballots cast with the wrong instructions in Coldwater. The Comanche County Clerk's Office will be working closely with the county and the state to decide how this will be handled.