A headline in Wednesdayâ€™s paper said that seven out of eight county voters skipped the primary election.
The 13 percent turnout didnâ€™t set a record for the worst turnout in Sedgwick County, but it was hardly a show of civic engagement.
Actually the turnout was more dismal than 13 percent.
The numbers in the paper were based on the number of registered voters.
Ken Ciboski, a political science professor at Wichita State University, called to suggest that The Eagle follow the standards used in national elections and base the turnout on the number of adults living in the county, rather than the number of adults who register to vote.
That would put the turnout closer to 7 percent. Some of those folks had an excuse. Not every small town in Sedgwick County had a primary. (The 13 percent turnout number was based only on voters living in towns with primaries.)
Bill Gale, the Sedgwick County election commissioner, acknowledged that there are two ways to figure voter turnout.
But, he said, his office knows the number of people registered to vote in Sedgwick County. It doesnâ€™t know the exact number of adults living in the county on Election Day.
In addition, those with felony records and those who are not citizens couldnâ€™t register to vote if they wanted to.
Gale said that 233,147 people or about 70 percent of the countyâ€™s adults, are registered to vote.
In the future, we will try to be more careful in explaining how those voter turnout numbers are calculated.
â€” Jean Hays