Sedgwick County saw higher voter turnout than 2016 primary

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WICHITA, Kan. With the special congressional election in the books, Sedgwick County says they saw a lot more people than expected.

Now, election workers do not have a lot of time to dwell on that because they face a quick turn around.

"I think overall, it went really great," said Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman. "We had higher turnout than what was expected."

Lehman says going into this election her office figured it would be similar to the 2016 primary where voter turnout was 17 percent. She hoped for 20 percent. In reality, voter turnout was 28 percent.

"I don't know how many sites I went to and just walked in the door, jumped in and helped clear the line, just went from site to site," said Lehman.

As for the new voting machines, Lehman says they were a success.

"We love the new system, and it is so much better and it's so much more transparent," said Lehman.

There were two machines that had problems, but Lehman says that was more of a training error than a malfunction.

Now early voting begins for two school bond issues. Goddard and Clearwater looking to make improvements and early voting began Wednesday morning, although there was no one in line to cast their ballot.

"That's why we have machines set up here, that's why our vote here flags are out. It's not because you can still vote for yesterday's election, this is for the next one," said Lehman.

The Goddard and Clearwater school districts have their election on April 25th.

On April 26th, early voting will begin for the Andover School District's bond election, set for May 9th.

Lehman says they're scheduled to have 7 elections this year. One down, six to go.

"And this is our 'off year'," said Lehman.

All three of the school district bonds include improvements to school buildings. The money would go towards installing storm shelters in many of the schools.