Danedri Thompson
[email protected]
An initial batch of advanced ballots will leave the Johnson County Election Office today headed via U.S. Postal Service to the homes of more than 25,000 voters.
Voters can continue to apply for advanced mail ballots until Oct. 19, and according to election commissioner Brian Newby, election workers will mail ballots within 48 hours of receiving an application.

Voters cast ballots at Wheatridge Middle School on Election Day in 2006. Countywide, there will be 192 polling places on Nov. 2. File Photo

Election officials are hoping that more than 50 percent of Johnson County residents who vote in the fall election will cast their ballots before election day on Nov. 2. That’s about what elections workers saw in the November 2008 election, but that year, Newby said election staff did everything they could to get people to vote early.
“We did advertising and paper and websites,” he said. “We’re not doing that, but we’re hoping to live off the residual this year.”
Newby said in addition to mail-in ballots, he expects to see more than 50,000 voters cast ballots at advanced polling places. Advanced polling places will open on Oct. 19 in four locations throughout the county. Three advanced polling places will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday between Oct. 19 and Oct. 29. The three locations will also open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. A fourth location – the Johnson County Election Office in Olathe, will be open for advanced voting from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday Oct. 19 through Oct. 29. On Saturdays, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, the office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The election office will also offer advanced voting the day before the election – Nov. 1 – from 8 a.m. to noon.
By Nov. 1 after noon, advanced polls will close and voters can vote at their polling places on election day Nov. 2. Newby said there will be 192 polling places in Johnson County. At one point, the county offered 284 polling places on election day, but Newby said advanced voting has allowed the election officials to decrease the number of polling places on election day.
“In the end, it just reduces costs,” Newby said. “We don’t want to have polling places that just have a couple hundred voting at them.”
He said election officials anticipate about a 55 percent voter turnout overall.
That should translate into about 1,000 voters casting ballots at each polling place on election day.
There are more people registered to vote in Johnson County today than there were in November 2008, Newby said. In October 2008, there were 350,000 registered voters in Johnson County. By the time of the presidential election in November that year, there were more than 360,000 registered voters in the county.
After a presidential election, Newby said election officials purge the registered voter rolls. Those who hadn’t voted since the 2004 presidential election were removed from the rolls, which Newby said, dropped the number of Johnson County registered voters to 344,000.
Today, there are more than 364,000 registered voters, but the registrations haven’t flooded the election office like they did leading up to the presidential election of 2008.
“It was kind of like Miracle on 34th Street, with just bags and bags. Tons,” Newby said. “It hasn’t been a flood these last couple of weeks.”
Advanced mail ballots have to be in at the election office in Olathe by 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 in order to be counted. There is a mail slot on the outside of the election office where ballots can be returned.
Voters can visit   www.jocopolo.com to find their polling places or www.jocoelection.org to request an advanced mail-in ballot.
Four places to cast advance ballots
Johnson County Election Office
2101 E Kansas City Road, Olathe
• 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday, Oct. 19 – 29
• 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 23 & 30
• 8 a.m. – noon Nov. 1  (this location only)
Johnson County NE  Offices
6000 Lamar Ave, Mission
• 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday, Oct. 19-29
• 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 23 & 30
Metcalf South Shopping Center
9531 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park
• 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday, Oct. 19-29
• 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 23 & 30
Ten Quivira Plaza – Shawnee
12156 Shawnee Mission Pkwy
(one block west of Quivira Rd)
• 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday, Oct. 19-29
• 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 & 30