Early voting proceeding at record pace in Johnson County, will continue through this week

The line for early voting stretched into the hallway at the JoCo Northeast offices last Friday
The line for early voting stretched into the hallway at the JoCo Northeast offices last Friday

Louis Bornman, the supervising judge at the Johnson County early voting location at 6000 Lamar in Mission, has never seen anything like it.

“This is the biggest turnout I’ve seen,” he said. “I did the last presidential election and this is much more.”

Caitlin Aaron (left) and Joan Nick were among those voting early last week.
Caitlin Aaron (left) and Joan Nick were among those voting early last week.

A steady river of voters was flowing around him Friday morning as 32 election workers sought to move the process along as fast as possible. At his location alone, an average of well over 1,600 voters had come through each day last week.

“It’s been pretty constant,” Bornman said. “It only takes 20 minutes to get people through.”

It’s been that way all over Johnson County since early voting began last Monday. It will continue this week through this Saturday. The general election is Nov. 8.

As of last Thursday, almost 11 percent of the eligible voters in Johnson County had cast their ballots, 43,529 people, according to Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker.

“We have just been inundated, slammed, a tsunami, whatever you want to call it,” Metsker said. “We’ve broken all of our records for advanced voting so it’s been quite a week.”

By the time Election Day is over, he predicted that 80 percent of the county’s 405,000 registered voters would participate.

Joan Nick of Mission and her friend Caitlin Aaron of Prairie Village were among those voting last Friday morning at the JoCo Northeast Offices at Lamar and Johnson Drive.

“I didn’t want to wait in a long line on election day,” Nick said.

Aaron said her job as a nurse at Shawnee Mission Medical Center would have made it almost impossible to vote on Nov. 8. She works the 7 a.m to 7 p.m. shift that day.

“I’m only allowed two hours off and I didn’t think I could make it,” she said.

The hours for early voting this week at 6000 Lamar are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It’s closed Nov. 7. The other area location is the JoCo Arts and Heritage Center, the former King Louie, at 8788 Metcalf Ave. Enter on 89th Street.

Poll worker Bob Tice was handing out voter stickers
Poll worker Bob Tice was handing out voter stickers