Monday morning, volunteers will get the skinny on the responsibilities of being an election worker.
The 43 election workers is a drastic reduction to yesteryear, when all of the county’s 21 precincts were staffed with a bare minimum of three workers. Iola had a polling place for each of its four wards.
Decreased population and the advent of technology have coupled to warrant the changes.
Now, Allen County has five polling places — Iola’s North Community Building, Humboldt’s First Baptist Church, Gas City Hall and the senior centers in Moran and LaHar-pe.
The consolidation of polls was a logical step, to save money and close voting stations where few people voted. County Clerk Sherrie Riebel, the county’s election officer, recalled one election at Mildred when during 12 hours only the three election workers voted.
Riebel reminded voters are required to have a photo ID. Most people use a driver’s license, but any government-issued ID, such as a passport or employee badge issued by any local governing body, will work.
As they have for years, voters are required to give their name and address and also sign an electronic tablet before receiving a ticket to receive the correct ballot.
ALLEN COUNTY has 8,669 registered voters, 4,157 Republicans, 1,771 Democrats, 2,689 unaffiliated, 47 Libertarians and five with the Reform Party.
Riebel anticipates 75 percent or more will vote, which is characteristic of a presidential election.
In 2008, when President Barack Obama defeated Republican John McCain, a touch over 73 percent of Allen County’s registered voters went to the polls, 5,908 of 8,056.
Only one local countywide election will be decided Tuesday.
Undersheriff Bryan Murphy, a Republican, is opposed by Skyler Clark, who is unaffiliated, with the winner to succeed Tom Williams.
Williams, completing his second four-year term as sheriff, also is on the ballot. He is unopposed for county commissioner for the Second District, which contains Iola’s Third Ward and Carlyle, Deer Creek, Elm, Geneva, North Iola and Osage townships, as well as Gas, LaHarpe, Mildred and Carlyle.
Jim Talkington is unopposed for Third District commissioner. The district is made up of Iola’s First, Second and Fourth wards, South Iola Township and Bassett.
Both commission candidates are Iola Republicans.
Voters along the east side of the county will help decide the Second District seat in the Kansas House. Candidates are Jeff Locke, Arma, Republican; Bob Grant, Frontenac, Democrat; and Lawrence Monaghan, Arcadia, Libertarian. Most Allen Countians will vote in the Ninth House District, where Ed Bideau, Chanute Republican, is unopposed.
All county voters also will help decide the 12th District Senate race, which pits Denise Cassells, Mound City Democrat, against Caryn Tyson, Parker Republican, as well as the Second District U.S. House race where Lynn Jenkins, Topeka Republican, is seeking re-election to Congress and is opposed by Dennis Hawver, Ozawkie Libertarian, and Tobias Schlingensiepen, Topeka Democrat.
POLLS CLOSE Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Riebel’s office staff and others recruited to help then will feed ballots into a counting machine when they arrive from the polls, carried in by two workers representing the major parties.
A place at the front of the office is made available for spectators — many usually gather in the hall — and as results are tabulated they are made available for public consumption.
The process should be completed by about 9 o’clock.