By Lucky Kidd
STAFFORD COUNTY, Kan. — The number of polling places in Stafford County will be reduced from three to one starting with the March Presidential Preference Primary. Stafford County Clerk Lisa Weber says the change has been under consideration for the past few years and is being implemented this year.
In an email to Ad Astra News Weber said a number of factors led to this decision, including difficulty in recruiting poll workers, increased election scrutiny and new mandated security requirements. Going forward all Stafford County voters will cast election day ballots at the Stafford County Annex in St. John.
Letters were sent to all registered voters informing them of the change, after which Stafford city officials voiced concern about not being consulted on the issue. However, under state law Weber as the county election official has the authority to make this change, which did not require any action by the Stafford County Commission.
Connected with this, Weber said plans are being made to offer extended evening and Saturday advanced voting hours and publicizing the availability of voting by mail. To that end, Weber said she’s offered to work with cities in the county to coordinate dates for public transportation to St. John both for advance voting and election.
She closed her email by saying the goal of her office is to protect the integrity of the voting process in Stafford County and to provide safe, secure and efficient elections.