County certifies primary results

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
County Clerk Janet Klasinski presents information about the Aug. 3 primary election to Leavenworth County commissioners. Also pictured is County Commission Chairman Mike Smith. Commissioners voted Wednesday to certify the results of the primary.

The results of the Aug. 3 primary in Leavenworth County are now certified.

The election results were certified Wednesday by Leavenworth County commissioners. Commissioners approved of the results while acting as the county Board of Canvassers.

There were two local primary races in the Aug. 3 election. One was for the Leavenworth City Commission. The other was for the Lansing Board of Education.

In each of these two races, there were 11 primary candidates, and voters selected six candidates to advance to the general election.

In the race for Leavenworth City Commission, Jermaine Wilson, Mike Griswold, Edd Hingula, Griff Martin, Mark Preisinger and Maren Hart are advancing to the Nov. 2 general election. They will vie for three at-large positions on the City Commission. In the race for Lansing school board, Jeff Bollin, Mary Wood, Amy Cawvey, Susie Jorgensen Werth, Roy S. Foster and Beth Stevenson are advancing to the general election. There also are three at-large positions up for grabs in this race.

County Clerk Janet Klasinski, the county's chief election officer, said her office conducted an audit of two precincts, one from each of the two races, following the primary. She said four people who do not work for her office conducted hand counts of ballots from the two precincts.

"It did come out with the exact findings that were indicated on election night," Klasinski told commissioners Wednesday.

She said the results of the audit were submitted to the Kansas Secretary of State's Office.

Klasinski said her office received advance ballots in the mail following the election. She said her office was legally able to count those as long as they were postmarked no later than the day of the election and received by the Friday after the election.

Klasinski said her office may receive more ballots in the mail during the next couple of weeks, but they cannot be counted.

She said 16 provisional ballots were submitted during the election. She recommended qualifying 10 of them to be counted.

The six that were not counted included ones submitted by people who were not registered to vote in the two primary races. Klasinski said one person registered to vote after registration had closed for the election.

She said registration always closes 20 days prior to an election.

Klasinski counted the 10 qualified provisional ballots after reviewing them with the commissioners.

She left the meeting and returned after the votes from the 10 ballots had been counted.

"It did not make any difference to the top six candidates in either race," she said.

With the additional ballots counted, Klasinski said a total of 3,719 people voted in the primary. She said this represented 13.09% of the voters who were eligible to vote in the two primary races.

Commissioners Jeff Culbertson and Mike Smith expressed disappointment in the voter turnout.

"People get out and vote," said Smith, who serves of the chairman of the County Commission.

Commissioner Mike Stieben asked Klasinski if she anticipates a higher voter turnout for the general election.

Klasinski said she does not anticipate the countywide voter turnout for the general election will be higher than the turnout for the primary.

The general election will feature city and school board races from around the county.

Klasinski said there are a number of uncontested races in the general election.

And there will be some general election races with no candidates on ballot. Klasinski said the outcome of these races will be determined by write-in votes.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth County Commission:

• Approved an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation regarding a grant that has been awarded to the county for improvements to County Road 5. The grant for fiscal year 2023 was awarded through the state's High Risk Rural Roads program.

The state will provide 90% of the funding for the project. The county will be responsible for the remaining 10%.

Bill Noll, infrastructure and construction services director for the county, said KDOT estimates the project will cost $1.651 million. The state has allocated $1.486 million in funding for the project. The county will have to pay an estimated $165,118 for the project.

The project will make improvements to a 1.1-mile section of County Road 5 between Stranger Creek and the city of Tonganoxie.

• Approved an order to abate property taxes for two houses that were destroyed by fire.

• Approved a contract between the county's Council on Aging and Terry booker for nutrition and catering services from 2022-2024.

• Received quarterly reports from County Appraiser Bob Weber and Connie Harmon, director of the Council on Aging.