An election canvas for the 2019 local election was held during Monday’s Riley County commission meeting.

County Clerk Rich Vargo, along with the representatives from the clerk’s office, led the canvas. Vargo explained to the commissioners, who were also the canvas board, how the procedure works.

“The canvas report will have the total number of ballots casted for each polling place and will read through each polling place result with the recommendations,” explains Vargo.

The provisional ballots were then be given the recommendation by Election Supervisor Susan Boller of either valid, partial, or not.  They then gave their reasoning for not accepting the ballots.  Some of the reasons included no photo-ID, wrong district, or not registered.

There were a total of 157 provisional ballots counted, with 114 being recommended as valid. The total number of votes casted in Riley County was 10,597. This included bleed over for city and school from Pottawatomie County, which totaled 636.

The commissioners approved the valid votes and Vargo then had the votes tabulated.  The results will be made available to the public on their website and copies will be made as well at a later date.

Vargo added they have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the new equipment. The item the voters liked the most was having the option for voter verifiable paper that comes out after they voted.  Not everyone used these, but liked that they had the option to do so.

Also during the meeting, commissioners once again extended the declaration of local disaster emergency during their meeting Monday.

The declaration was set to expire November, but the commissioners decided to go ahead now since that is a Friday. County Counselor Clancy Holeman suggested setting the date a little later than 30 days to have it land on a meeting day.

Commissioner John Ford suggested going into January to avoid missing meetings due to the upcoming holidays. The commissioners agreed and set the new declaration date to January 6, 2020.

The declaration must stay open for the county to receive disaster aid money from the federal government. The county currently has several roads and bridges still underwater, and do not yet know the extent of the damage done.

EMS Director David Adams reported the number of calls for service Station 3 responded to and their response times.  This is the new station located at the Riley County Shop.

“Within the first five weeks of that station being open, they have responded to 58 calls and reduced the call time to northern county (Riley, Leonardville, and Randolph) by an average of 7.4 minutes,” says Adams.

Adams says they were also able to reduce their response times to Northeast, Northwest, and North Central Manhattan. Reducing the response times in all of these areas is the reason they chose the location of the new station.

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