In-person voting puts local Republican in lead for District 72 race

9:36 p.m.

As election day votes are tallied, the lead held by Harvey County Democrats has evaporated.
With 13 of 20 precincts in Harvey and Butler county  in the District 72 Race, incumbent Tim Hodge trails Rep. Avery Anderson by 427 votes.

Challenger Christy Schunn holds onto a 26 vote lead with seven out of eight precincts in the County Commission district reporting.

In the senate race Bollier trails by seven points in a race that’s all but over.
Of note, the large change comes from the disparity between early and mail ballots and in person votes cast.  While Hodge recieved 55 percent of early and mail in votes, he has received 31 percent of the votes cast on election day so far.
The similar trend has held with Schunn as well.

8:23 p.m.

With early voting and received mail in ballots counted, Democrats in Harvey County have early leads.

In District 72 incumbent Tim Hodge leads Republican challenger Avery Anderson by 11 points or 807  votes cast.
In the county commission race challenger Christy Schunn leads incumbent Randy Hague by 17 points or 638 votes cast.
In the Senate race, strictly in Harvey County democrat Barbara Bollier leads by nine points.

These early results account for roughly 60 percent of the total vote cast in Harvey County, with 6,744 election day votes to be counted.
The Democratic party has relied heavily on mail in ballots in the county to recruit voters to its candidates, Look for these races to get far closer as the night continues and election day results trickle in.

7:24 p.m.

Early counts indicate turn out to be near 72 percent for Harvey County in the 2020 election with 16,954 votes accepted so far at the close of polls.

Of those votes, 39.7 percent were cast on election day. 38.9 percent were cast by mail and 21.4 percent through early voting.

Those numbers will edge up slightly during the evening and days to come as mail in ballots should continue to come in through the mail up until Friday.

Already however, the turnout surpasses the last two presidential elections, which saw a 70 percent turnout in 2016 and a 65 percent turnout in 2012.

So far at least 1,655 more votes have been cast than the 2016 election.

County Clerk Rick Piepho said this election has seen a number of challenges for his office. One is the record number of mail in ballots to go through. He said they had a large number of advance ballots they had to issue close to the election due to people qualifying because of COVID-19 diagnosis or quarantines.
He said there are also a significant amount of provisional ballots where people received a mail in ballot but came to the polls to vote in person.

In those cases, if two ballots were cast, only one will be counted. If a person received a vote by mail ballot but voted in person instead and didn’t fill their mail ballot out, the ballot will be counted as a provisional ballot to later be reviewed by the Harvey County Board of Canvassers.

Piepho’s office sent out request forms to voters throughout the county earlier this year allowing them to request a mail ballot as a way to combat COVID-19 by decreasing in-person exposures.

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