By MIKE CORN
LUCAS -- Quick, call Kris Kobach.
It seems Lucas residents Lynn Schneider and Rosslyn Schultz are stuffing the ballot box.
Of course, that's allowed in this election, the nationwide search for the top bathroom in the United States, and the Bowl Plaza in Lucas is in the running for the award.
That's why Schneider, caretaker for the iconic Garden of Eden, and Schultz, the executive director of the Grassroots Art Museum, are voting as often as they can.
For Schultz, it's several times each evening, after her duties at the art museum are finished for the day.
Schneider admits she finds herself voting regularly, and often, on her smartphone.
Now, halfway through the 2014 Cintas' America's Best Restroom Contest, Lucas apparently isn't in the lead, but Lucas is running close behind.
"Longwood Gardens currently holds the lead in the annual 'top potty' competition," a news release from Cintas revealed, "but several other restrooms are close behind."
They include Bowl Plaza in Lucas, the Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis and Mai Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Longwood Gardens, based in Philadelphia, has 17 restrooms to service its nearly 1 million visitors a year.
Lucas's Bowl Plaza has had nearly 12,000 visitors in the relatively short time it's been open, and Schultz said it gained another country just last week.
"We're now at 55 countries," she said. "We had Uruguay the other day."
Lucas also played host to a bus tour of members of the Society of Layerists in Multi-Media, a group that hosted its national conference in Hays through Sunday.
Schneider credits the attention given the Bowl Plaza for invigorating tourism in Lucas, even as the tourist season is ending.
On Friday, for example, Jim Wells, Basehor, was spending much of the day in Lucas, visiting the Garden of Eden, the Grassroots Art Center, the Florence Deeble residence and, naturally, the Bowl Plaza.
"This is incredible," he said of the community and the Bowl Plaza.
It's not what he expected, even though he'd long heard about the community and its reputation as a mecca for folk art.
"Unique," he said. "I like this place."
The Garden of Eden, he said, was his first stop in the community.
"That is incredible," Wells said as he glanced around the inside of the Bowl Plaza, a working set of restrooms even though it's also a work of art.
Wells said he planned to see other sites in the community and would cast his vote in the Best Restroom contest.
Schneider said she's not sure how many times she's voted in the contest, or how many more times she'll vote.
She was delighted at word about how well Lucas is doing in the contest.
"I guess we'll need to keep voting," Schneider said. "A lot of people are all real excited about this."
Schultz agreed, and said she's already been told there's going to be a parade down Main Street in Lucas when the results are in -- win or lose.
Lucas residents, Schneider and Schultz included, offer not-so-subtle hints for visitors to vote in the contest, and of course, they're being urged to vote for the Bowl Plaza.
"I don't think they can leave down without getting the word," Schultz said.
The contest can be found at www.bestrestroom.com.