WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Commission addressed concerns with Tuesday’s election and some mishaps that occurred at a few polling places.
One instance occurred at the Maize Recreation Center polling location. Voters at that location who were in line before 7 p.m. were informed that they would need to go to a different site to vote.
Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Angela Caudillo addressed it in a county news release saying, “This was an inappropriate decision made by the election workers. This was immediately addressed with those workers.”
Another problem was the long lines at the Linwood Recreation Center. Commissioner Lacey Cruse was at that center as lines of people waited hours to vote. A plea for more poll workers was put out, and several responded to the location to help. Voting wrapped up there at 9:45 p.m. Cruse had more issues with voters being turned away.
“I’m very, very concerned about the previously mentioned site in Maize that was shut down at 6:40,” Cruse said. “Voters were told to go to a different polling location, and that is completely unacceptable. I know Angela has addressed that in a statement last night.”
Commissioner David Dennis was made aware of some election issues by fellow commissioners and went to the election office to check out things.
He said Nicole Gibbs, a Sedgwick County community relations specialist, was in the office offering support to the election staff. Gibbs released a statement to the media about the polling location problems at Maize.
“Angela was very busy last evening. I didn’t want to take away from her duties,” Dennis said.
Throughout their comments, commissioners praised Caudillo and other election workers for their work. Several agreed that training and recruiting election employees is a challenge and addressed that more work may need to be done on that issue in the future.
“I really believe our election commissioner is capable. I believe she is learning, and I want to personally ask that we extend her and the entire elections team and the many volunteers some grace in this overwhelming turnout of democracy last night,” Cruse said.
Commissioner Jim Howell echoed his fellow commissioners with support.
“The election commissioner, Angela Caudillo, literally has 10,000 details to get right, and that is a very hard job, and things do go wrong,” Howell said.
The commissioners will hear from Caudillo at the next meeting on August 17. They will also meet the election commissioner for the vote canvass next week at the Old Sedgwick County Courthouse.
Election Commissioner Angela Caudillo was appointed by Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab last July after Tabitha Lehman was not reappointed. The Sedgwick County Commission doesn’t appoint that position.
Caudillo talked more about the election at a Wednesday news conference. You can watch it here.