Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kobach Predicts 50 Percent Turnout in Election

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kobach Predicts 50 Percent Turnout in Election

Article excerpt

About 50 percent of registered voters will ultimately cast a ballot in the November election, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach predicted Thursday. Kobach also once again dismissed criticism from Democrats over the thousands of individuals whose registrations are suspended.

Kobach predicted about 872,000 people will vote out of about 1.74 million voters registered, based in part on the pace of advance voting and the high interest in the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

In addition, data released by his office shows the two major political parties holding about the same percentage of the electorate as four years ago. Republicans make up 44.5 percent of registered voters, almost exactly the same as four years ago, compared with 24.4 percent for Democrats. In 2010, Democrats made up about 26.6 percent of the electorate. The percentage of unaffiliated voters has risen from 28.2 percent to 30.2 percent.

Numbers given by Kobach indicate a little less than 9 percent of all registered voters have already cast ballots through advance voting. Kobach said the number of advance ballots cast so far was about 5,000 less than in 2010. He blamed what he called the "Royals effect" for the lag.

"One of the things that the counties reported, particularly Johnson County, is that on game days, the advance voting in person tapered off rapidly after 4 o'clock because people were heading home, going to game parties, doing whatever," Kobach said, adding that he expected to see advance voting to pick up again with the conclusion of the World Series.

With the election less than a week away, more than 20,000 people remain on a suspended voters list because they haven't fully completed their voter registration, which includes a proof-of- citizenship requirement. Kobach said the number, which had been more than 23,000 people, would likely fall to about 21,000 by Election Day.

Democrats have branded the list "Suspension City" and have pointed out that the number of people on it is greater than the population of several Kansas cities, including Emporia. …

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