With few races on the ballot to generate excitement, it is no surprise that turnout in last week’s election was low – 10 percent across Johnson County. The one place where voting percentages hit what might be considered respectable numbers came in certain Roeland Park wards where city council races drove voters to the polls.
Across northeast Johnson County, many wards registered only single digit turnout. The ballot contests in many of those wards consisted only of candidates for school board, community college board or water board. Many municipalities had uncontested elections for mayor or city council – and it showed in voter turnout.
But in Roeland Park, more than 43 percent of voters turned out in Ward 4, prompted by the city council race between Michael Poppa and JoAnna Rush. In Roeland Park Ward 3, more than 32 percent of voters turned out for the contest between Erin Thompson and Linda Mau. And in Ward 2, 22.7 percent voted in the third contested council race between Tim Janssen and Blake Morgan. By contrast, only nine percent voted in Ward 1, which was uncontested. As a whole, Roeland Park turned out 28 percent of registered voters.
The next highest voter turnout in NEJC was the 23.9 percent in Mission Hills where council candidates were running at-large. In Mission Woods, 29 of the city’s 149 registered voters cast ballots for a 19.4 percent turnout.
Other cities were somewhat lower with turnouts of slightly less than 10 percent in Prairie Village, where Mayor Laura Wassmer was unopposed. All the other cities turnouts were also at 10 percent or lower.