Riley County as of the end of Thursday is just 224 advance ballots short of the mark set in 2019, the last election headlined by local government races.

“These are the people making decisions for your schools and your streets and your cities,” says Riley County Clerk Rich Vargo on KMAN’s In Focus Friday. “I just don’t understand why people don’t participate in these more. We’re ready for 100 percent [turnout], but in 2019 we had a 28 percent — which is actually, for statewide, a pretty good turnout for a general election for a city-school district election.”

Vargo says that prior to Friday, 2,275 people cast their ballots with over 200 of those coming in on Thursday alone. Vargo anticipates similar turnout on Friday, Saturday and Monday, which he says are some of the busiest advance voting days despite hours running from 8 a.m. to noon on those days in accordance with state law.

Monday is the last day to cast advance ballots before election day, and those looking to get their vote in early should be planning for a morning visit to the Riley County Office Building given the earlier cut-off. Voting hours on Tuesday run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mail-in ballots will also be counted if postmarked prior to Nov. 8, though Vargo says those concerned about getting theirs mailed in time can drop it off in person.

“You can drop off a mail ballot at any polling place,” says Vargo. “It doesn’t have to be your polling place necessarily on election day.”

He also encourages voters to check out a sample ballot online at the Riley County website before heading to the polls.

“You put in your own personal information, it brings up your exact sample ballot with the races,” says Vargo. “Remember this time there’s also a special question on there, and especially when there’s special questions […] it’s advantageous to be familiar with everything that’s on the ballot.”

More information on the election be found at RileyCountyKS.Gov/Elections. KMAN’s candidate series can be found here.

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