Around lunchtime Thursday, a line snaked around the entrance to Metcalf South Shopping Center in Overland Park.
People voting in advance of next month's election were lining up to cast their ballots -- after a roughly 45-minute wait. But poll workers said this is pretty typical of what they've seen during past presidential elections.
"It's actually about what we were expecting," said Ann Malin. "We always get a very good turnout."
If anything, it looks as if early voting in the county may be behind the pace of past presidential election years.
Advance voting began as early as Oct. 17 in some Kansas counties. Others opened this week. Johnson County opened its polling stations on Monday; Wyandotte County began on Tuesday. Kansas is one of 32 states that allow early voting in person without having to provide an excuse or reason for not being able to vote on Election Day.
Malin said the average wait time at the Metcalf South location has been about 30 minutes at its busiest times.
"The voters are very polite and gracious even with the wait," she said. "It will get longer as the days go by."
As of Tuesday, 43,882 advance ballots had been issued in Johnson County with Election Day two weeks away. That would need to more than triple to beat the 147,674 ballots issued in 2008 and more than double to beat the 105,071 issued in 2004.
About 17,400 advanced ballots had been returned by Tuesday. Johnson County Election Commissioner Brian Newby is reluctant to make any forecast so he doesn't dampen turnout. But he has noticed that about 5,000 Johnson Countians are voting a day compared with about 7,000 four years ago.
At the current pace, he said, voter turnout in Johnson County might not reach 70 percent this presidential election year. He said voting could explode with Saturday being a good indicator of how turnout might unfold on Election Day.
Paul Lee, a poll worker, said the Metcalf location is busier than others in Johnson County, like the ones on Shawnee Mission Parkway or at the Great Mall of the Great Plains. Malin said the Metcalf polling station runs about 200 people through the system each hour; 1,776 people voted there Wednesday.
"We are one of the most popular because we have a nice facility that's indoors and plenty of parking," Malin said.
On Thursday, some people fiddled with iPads as they took baby steps forward. Others stuck their noses in books. Some had brought their children.
Eugene Woodfin was among the crowd that waited in the 45-minute line to cast his ballot Thursday.
"It was fluid," he said. "I didn't have any expectations, but it wasn't bad. It was about right for as long as the line is."
Ron Northrup wasn't quite as nonchalant. That might have been because he was at the very end of the line.
"I didn't expect the line to be this long," he said. "I thought I could just come in and get in and get out."
The wait wasn't about to deter him from voting, though.
"I'll stick around," he said.
The Star's Brad Cooper contributed to this report.