Tuesday was also a victory of sorts for Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Bill Gale, whose credibility had been on the line after reducing the county’s polling places from 208 to 64. There were anecdotes about problems with machines and poll workers, but the election came off with a 49 percent turnout in the county — in the ballpark with the 2002 and 1998 nonpresidential elections. Maybe Gale knew what he was doing after all — though even the person who hired him, Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, had said Gale’s cutbacks “went deeper” than he would have recommended. Tuesday’s experience bodes well for the spring municipal and school board elections. And the nonpartisan Sedgwick County Voter Coalition plans to review the election and make recommendations, as necessary. But what about 2008? If county turnout is anything like 2004′s 74 percent of registered voters, the disaster might still be coming.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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