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It's Easy To Vote In Upcoming Kansas Primaries, But Register Now

Celia Llopis-Jepsen
Kansas News Service

The deadline to register before the Aug. 7 primaries is Tuesday, July 17. Fear not, registering is easy.

So is finding your polling location, or voting in advance. Read on.

Got a criminal record? Seriously, read on.

First, check if you’re already registered and have a party affiliation

All you need is your birth date, county of residence and full name to check online.

Easy, right?

You’ll also see whether you have declared any party affiliation. Your address needs to be current, so pay attention to that detail. Even if you just moved within your apartment building or block.

You need a party affiliation to vote in the primary. You can still pick Republican or Democrat by re-registering — or you can declare at the polls. But if you already have one and were hoping to switch, it’s too late to do so for the primary.

Not registered yet or want to update your registration?

Online, mail and in-person options will all work in time for the July 17 deadline. You don’t need to include copies of citizenship documents, such as a passport or birth certificate, as was the case in the past.

IN PERSON: Visit your county election office, which is easy to find. If you happen to be at your local DMV to get or renew your driver’s license, you can do it there, too.

ONLINE: Register online using the state form on the Kansas Secretary of State’s website. Some civic groups have been recommending filling out the federal form on the third-party website KSvotes.org instead, for reasons related to a protracted and convoluted legal showdown between the League of Women Voters and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. (It’s a long story.) Either form will get you fully registered to vote in local, state and federal elections. Just remember to leave enough time for the internet to do its magic by midnight July 17.

BY MAIL: You can print a state form or federal form and send it by good old snail mail. As long as it is postmarked July 17 or earlier, it counts.

Vote in advance or from home if you want!

IN PERSON: You can vote at your county election office before noon, Aug. 6 during the week leading up to the election. Voting starts earlier in some counties. The evening of July 17 the Secretary of State’s Office will post those counties and their extended dates.

BY MAIL: Request a ballot from your county election office by July 31. Fill it out in your kitchen or wherever and mail it back postmarked no later than election day. As long as it reaches the county by the Friday after the election, it will be counted.

Or, heck, go to the polls on election day!

Don’t forget you need to take ID to the polls in Kansas. Your driver’s license or concealed carry permit will work, among other things.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on Aug. 7. Check your voting location.

But who’s even running?

Your online registration record will show you the districts you live in. For example, “State Board of Education 4” and “Kansas Representative 46.” You can see who’s running in State Board of Education District 4 or any other position by pulling up the complete candidate list.

What to make of the candidates? You’ll have to do your own homework on that.

If you have a criminal record

If you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor, you can vote. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you can vote, too, once you have completed any prison, probation and parole time you received.

You may need to re-register, so remember to check now whether you are registered.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. You can reach her on Twitter @Celia_LJ.

Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

I write about how the world is transforming around us, from topsoil loss and invasive species to climate change. My goal is to explain why these stories matter to Kansas, and to report on the farmers, ranchers, scientists and other engaged people working to make Kansas more resilient. Email me at celia@kcur.org.
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