TOPEKA (KSNT) – The city of Topeka’s municipal elections aren’t until April – but early voting began today for the primary election for city council seats. In-person voting started at eight o’clock this morning at the Shawnee County Elections Office.
Early voting will run for the next two weeks leading up to the march 3rd primary election.
As the Topeka primary election kicks off, Shawnee County offers two weeks of what election officials call “Convenient Voting.”
“Typically for a spring primary, without a Topeka Mayor on the ballot, the turnout usually runs somewhere just a shade under 15-percent of registered voter,” Says Mark Stock, assistant election commissioner.
“Convenient voting” was also offered in the fall general election where voters ran into some problems. The biggest problem was the iPads used to register voters. There weren’t enough of them, and there were technical glitches with the election app that slowed the process of voting down, creating long lines.
“We’ve got additional personal that we will be using on election day, we will deploy them a little bit differently, just so we can mitigate and instances like that, that may repeat its self,” Says Stock.
But long term, officials say it’s simply time for new equipment. “Our current existing voting equipment is over 20 years old, well past its expected use for life,” Says Stock.
That new equipment will cost about two and a half million dollars and they’ve been working on for about two years.
“I think generally we all agree it’s a good thing to have, now it’s a matter of how do we get there funding wise and budget wise.”
Stock says they hope to have new voting equipment for the 2016 elections but as of tonight the county commission has yet to approve the money to buy that equipment.
For information on the hours you can vote CLICK HERE. The city’s general election for the city council seats is April 7th.