WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Election Office said it did not mean any harm when it released two promotional videos this week featuring a clown.
The two videos encourage and explain how people can sign up to become poll workers for the November election. They also point out that people from all different backgrounds, even clowns, can become poll workers.
“It’s just promotional videos we created long before there was anything going on in the news about clowns,” said Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman.
For months, Lehman and her team have been working to fill the 1,000 poll worker positions. Even after putting out posters, signs and social media advertisements, the county still had hundreds of openings to fill in late August. This week, the county’s communications department released the two promotional videos to get more people to sign up.
“The whole point is just to say hey, anybody can do this,” said Lehman.
The release of the videos comes as creepy clown sightings have swept across the nation leading to arrests, school warnings and police investigations.
Lehman said the videos were not meant to cause any harm. She said the clown in the video is a long-time Sedgwick County poll worker.
“I have been doing Sedgwick County elections since 1982,” said Dowzeee the Clown Dow Summers.
For 34 years, Dowzeee the Clown said he has begged election officials to let him wear his clown suit to work the polls.
“They say no, no, no,” Dowzee said. “We are always supposed to dress up, nice, neat and clean and to meet our public.”
“It is something very serious and we want voters to know that we take this very seriously and it not a joking matter,” Lehman said.
Dowzeee said when the opportunity to be in the promotional video came up, he jumped on it.
“This is the one time I could wear my clown suit,” he said.
Dowzeee told KSN he is frustrated with the creepy clown epidemic, but he hopes his role in the voting video can have a positive impact on the situation.
“I am totally disappointed. I think it’s wrong,” he said. “We go to nursing homes. We go to hospitals. We go to parades here in Wichita. We do a lot of things in that order to be a part of the community and an active part of the community,” he said.