Early voter turnout for Riley County has almost doubled since the last presidential election.
County Clerk Rich Vargo tells KMAN that as of noon Monday 15,326 Riley County voters cast their ballots in advance. Compared to 2016, that number was only slightly over 8,000.
“Our total election participation in 2016 was 22,198. We’ll far surpass that,” Vargo told the Riley County Commission Monday.
Nearly 80 percent of the mail ballots have been received, as 8,668 of the 10,889 had been returned by noon Monday. A total of 6,053 residents voted in advance in person.
Vargo says his office does not expect to receive all of the mailed out applications due to some voters changing their mind while waiting.Those who still plan on dropping off or mailing their ballot have until 7 pm on election day to do so.
“The two in our community we are having someone staff them at 7 p.m. Election Day and then it will be locked. The mail ballots can be accepted through Friday, but they must be postmarked by Nov. 3,” he said.
Voters in the smaller communities of the county have until the end of business day on Tuesday to drop off ballots at their city offices.
There are 29 polling places open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout Riley County. To find yours, visit myvoteinfo.voteks.org. Vargo is also encouraging voters to go to the county’s website to see a sample ballot.
“Many times people forget which districts they’re in. The City of Manhattan has a special question on it. It’s a great opportunity to get familiar with it to speed up the process a little bit,” he said.
Precautions will be in place at each polling site to maintain social distancing, as well as providing hand sanitizer and masks. Masks are encouraged but polling staff cannot by law turn anyone away for not wearing a mask.