10:41 p.m. update: With all county results in, the Republican Primary victor for the Kansas House of Representatives District 72 seat remains to close to call.
Avery Anderson has received 1,263 votes in the race, a 39-vote lead over Newton City Commissioner Kathy Valentine in the district consisting of Harvey County and a small part of rural Butler County.
“I knew it would be a super tight race between Kathy and myself,” Anderson said. “People would ask me constantly how I felt like it was going to go. I was hoping that I have a chance at the end of the night.”
The race is not over however. County Clerk Rick Piepho said that around 400 advanced ballots in the district could still come in the mail, and there were also some hand count and provisional ballots to be counted.
“I don’t think anywhere near that number is going to come in and most will likely break how the others went,” Piepho said.
Mail-in ballots will still be counted by the county up until Friday as long as the ballots have a post mark before 7 p.m. Tuesday.
This is not the first time District 72 has had voters waiting on counts after the election. In 2018, Republican Steve Kelly led Democrat Tim Hodge after all the advanced, early and election day ballots had been counted on election day, only to lose when all the mail-in and provisional ballots were counted later in the week.
Results will be made official during a canvassing of the county election board.
Lance Gormley finished in third place with 16 percent of the vote and Dwight McAdow finished with 13 percent of the vote.
In more decided matters, Don Schroeder will replace Ron Krehbiel as the county commissioner for the Harvey County third district, winning 48 percent of the vote. Michael Weber had 30 percent of the vote and Roger Lowery had 21 percent of the vote.
Piepho said it was also highly likely that Christy Schunn would be on the general election ballot as the Democratic nominee for the County Commission second district. He said all the write in votes hadn’t been counted yet, but with 706 write in votes written and her name showing up on many of the ballots, it would be likely she had the 400 she needed to get on the ballot.
In total 8,125 ballots were counted, which amounts to a 35.5 percent turnout.
For U.S. Senate races Roger Marshal will represent Republicans in the state Senate Race and Barbara Bollier will represent candidates in the race.
For the U.S. Representatives Race Laura Lombard will represent the Democratic Party, and Ron Estes will represent the Republican Party.
Update: The County has released counts from the approximately 4,150 early and advanced ballots cast, which make up approximately 50 percent of the county’s total vote.
In the Republican Primary race for District 72, Avery Anderson has a slight lead on Kathy Valentine, with 523 votes to Valentines 487. Lance Gromley has 193 votes and Dwight McAdow has 173 votes.
In the Republican Primary race that will decide the County Commission seat for District 3, Don Schroder has 364 votes to Michael Weber’s 174 votes and Roger Lowery’s 123 votes.
For the Democratic County Commission Second District seat, the elections office reports 626 write in votes. Democrat Christy Schunn needs approximately 400 of those write in votes to be her name to get on the general election ballot as the party’s nominee to face incumbent Randy Hague. For context, the County Commission third district seat had 20 write in votes on early and advanced Democratic ballots.
4058 in that district.
Don’t have a current report
There’s potential ballots still coming in
and hand counted ballots.
Had 1117 accepted.
That’s 400 ballots potential.
With the closure of polls in the 2020 Primary, the Harvey County Elections Office is reporting at least 7,975 people voted, at least 1,000 more than in the 2018 Primary election.
County Clerk Rick Piepho said he expects that number to top 8,00o as remaining mail in ballots trickle in over coming days and are returned from polling sites. That number would be good enough to put this years primary turnout at 35 percent, more than the 32.29 percent turnout in 2018 and the 31 percent turnout in 2016.
Covid-19 has led to uncertainty in so many aspects across the country and one of those has been voting. To help decrease the amount of people at the polls and prevent the diseases spread, the Harvey County Clerk’s office sent out sign up sheets to registered voters, to receive mail in ballots. The county received 5,350 requests for ballots, and of those sent out, 3,538 of those ballots had been returned by 7 p.m. on election day. The county will continue to accept the ballots until Friday, so long as they are postmarked in the mail by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Mail-in ballot voting nearly surpassed election day voting. 3,975 people voted in person Tuesday. Another 611 voted early.
At stake are a number of local seats, including the Harvey County Commission 3 race which will be decided in the Republican Primary. Democrats are also campaigning to get a candidate on the general election ballot Harvey County Commission District Two race by writing in candidate Christy Schunn on their primary ballots.
Piepho said that his office would attempt to county the write in ballots Tuesday night. Schunn needs about 400 to be listed on the general election ballot.
The voting will also decide what Republican will face Democrat Tim Hodge in the general election for the District 72 Kansas State Representative seat. There is a heated four way Republican Primary between Kathy Valentine, Lance Gormley, Avery Anderson and Dwight McAdow that will be decided with tonight’s vote.
Stay tuned for updates.