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electionlineWeekly — August 4, 2016

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III. Primary Updates

The 2016 primary season ramped back up again this week with primaries in Kansas, Michigan Missouri, and Washington heading to the polls (or ballot drop boxes) on Tuesday and in Tennessee at press time on Thursday. Overall, turnout was relatively low as were the reports of any problems or issues.

Kansas
In Kansas, there were no reported issues with the state’s on-again, off-again proof-of-citizenship law, which was off-again for this primary. Secretary of State Kris Kobach said voting went smoothly across the state.

In Johnson County, there were some issues with voters reporting to the wrong polling place, which election workers blamed on voters showing up to early voting locations instead of their primary day polling place. That being said, the county’s new iPads helped quickly get those voters directed to the right location.

To save costs, Finney County combined some wards and precinct and reduced the number of voting machines, but did not experience any issues from the reduction.

Statistician Beth Clarkson, who has questioned the validity of the state’s voting machines conducted an exit poll in Sedgwick County in an effort to learn whether or not the county’s voting machines were functioning properly.

Michigan
The big story in Michigan was low turnout throughout the state. But the weather did grab some headlines when polling places had to be moved because of projected temperatures in the 90s.

Old technology did slow the vote counting process in Ottawa County though and results weren’t published on the county’s website until 12:15 a.m. “For us, it’s a frustration with our programming limitations in this election,” Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck told the Holland Sentinel, noting the county hopes to have a new system in two years.

Missouri
It was relatively smooth sailing throughout the Show Me State on Tuesday, even in St. Louis County, which experienced a host of issues during April’s voting.

There were some minor reported problems with voting machines in Jackson County, but nothing that really slowed the vote. In one instance a scanner was not properly plugged in and in another, the scanner was having difficulty reading ballots on the first go-round.

In Boone County, it wasn’t the heat, it was the humidity! According to County Clerk Wendy Noren, high humidity caused paper ballots to swell which then made it difficult for them to be scanned.

In Greene County, there was a confrontation between County Clerk Shane Schoeller and a candidate over the location of political signs.

And in the contested secretary of state’s race, Republican Jay Ashcroft defeated State Sen. Will Kraus. Ashcroft will face Democrat Robin Smith in November.