At least 63,000 additional Kansans registered to vote during the five weeks before the deadline and officials and activists believe the presidential race spurred the record numbers.


At least 63,000 additional Kansans registered to vote during the five weeks before the deadline and officials and activists believe the presidential race spurred the record numbers.

“There’s definitely a surge of interest,” Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, an anti-abortion group long active in state politics, said Thursday. “The national election accounts for it. There’s just interest everywhere, in general, in voting.”

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh said an incomplete tally of the state’s 105 counties at the end of last week showed 1.73 million registered voters, compared to almost 1.67 million on Sept. 15.

The registration deadline was Oct. 20, and Thornburgh’s office plans to release final figures Friday, when the secretary of state planned a 10:30 a.m. news conference to announce his prediction for turnout in Tuesday’s election.

Kansas also has seen heavy interest in advance voting. Counties already have collected 209,000 advance ballots and they’ve received requests for an additional 83,000, according to the secretary of state’s office.

The record for advance votes was nearly 246,000, set in 2004, and Kansas is on a pace to break it. Thornburgh believes 30 percent of votes could be cast in advance.