The Douglas County Clerk’s office will offer advance voting July 15-Aug. 3 in leased space at 2329 Iowa Street, Suite M, next to Texas Roadhouse restaurant, for the 2020 elections in addition to the County Courthouse. The new location is more than 8,000 square feet and will provide more space for election workers and voters to social distance.
“The rotunda in the Courthouse is not very big, so we’ve been working on finding a location that is larger and has good parking accessibility,” County Clerk Jamie Shew said. “We believe this space fits our needs. We will be able to use it for training as well as elections.”
Douglas County’s 44 polling locations will have plexiglass shields between the election workers and voters. Workers will be wearing personal protective equipment and every voter will get their own stylus and pen.
Shew said the County Clerk’s office received $135,000 in CARES Act funds through the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office. The funding is being used to provide extra protections to help prevent spread of coronavirus during elections.
The County Clerk’s office recently sent notifications of polling place changes to more than 20,000 affected voters. Shew said they lost 16 locations this year mainly due to COVID-19 concerns, which required his office to make adjustments.
To address any potential confusion, the County Clerk’s office will send multiple notifications to affected voters before the primary and general elections.
Availability of locations willing to serve as a polling place or in close proximity of a precinct can be challenging. “We are thankful for those willing to open their doors and serve their neighbors,” Shew said.
The following temporary or new locations for the primary elections are:
- Precinct 2, 3 and 7 - Carnegie Building, 200 W. Ninth St., Lawrence.
- Precinct 4, 5 and 42 – Double Tree Hotel Convention Center, 200 McDonald Drive, Lawrence.
- Precinct 9, 10, 15 and 21 – Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2104 Bob Billings Parkway, Lawrence.
- Precinct 12, 23 and 24 – First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive, Lawrence.
- Precinct 14 and 17 – First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence.
- Precinct 16 and 46 – Arterra Event Gallery, 2161 Quail Creek Drive, Lawrence.
- Precinct 18 and 48 – Rev City Church, 700 Wakarusa Drive, Lawrence.
- Precinct 19 and 47 – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2211 Inverness Drive, Lawrence.
- Precinct 22 and 76 – Connect Church, 3351 W. 31st Street, Lawrence.
- Precinct 36, 37, 38 and 77 – Flory Meeting Hall, Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St., Lawrence.
- Precinct 45 and 49 – Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 6001 Bob Billings Way, Lawrence.
- Precinct 57 and 58 – Lecompton Community Building, 333 Elmore Street, Lecompton.
Shew anticipates increased participation in this year’s primary election. As of July 2, the County Clerk’s office had received more than 17,000 applications for advance mail-in ballots compared to the average 3,000 in past primary elections. Of those, 40% are people who normally vote at a polling place and 30% are people who have not participated in a primary election.
Here are some important dates leading up to the primary:
- July 14 – Deadline to register to vote.
- July 15 – Advance voting begins.
- July 28 – Deadline to request an advance ballot to be mailed.
- August 3 – Advance voting closes at noon.
- August 4 – Primary election.
Here are the hours for advance voting:
• July 15-July 31 — County Courthouse and 2329 South Iowa Street location, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.
• Saturday, Aug. 1 — Courthouse, South Iowa location, Lecompton City Hall, Eudora City Hall and Baldwin Fire Station, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Monday, Aug. 3 — Courthouse and South Iowa location, 8 a.m.-noon.
For information about voting and elections in Douglas County, visit: douglascountyelections.com.