Kansas voting guide: What to know about the 2022 election
Abortion rights, the governor and other important offices are up for a vote Tuesday in Kansas. KCUR assembled a guide to help you navigate the 2022 election, including information on how to vote and what to expect on your ballot.
Kansans are in the national spotlight when they make their choices in the upcoming August 2 primary. Several big questions are on the ballot, most notably an amendment to the state constitution on abortion, plus some hotly contested party races for U.S. Senate, governor and Congress.
Polls open in Kansas at 7 a.m. CT and close at 7 p.m. CT on Aug. 2, although some counties may choose to open earlier and close later.
Kansas will actually be the first state in the country to vote on abortion rights since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. In the August election, voters across the state will be asked whether abortion should be removed as a right from the state constitution as well.
Kansas has a closed primary system, meaning you have to declare yourself a member of a political party if you want to vote on Republican or Democratic ballots, and decide who will qualify for the general election in November. If you're already affiliated with one party, you can't switch parties at the polls.
Unaffiliated voters, however, can choose to join a political party at the polls to vote in their primary. Unaffiliated voters may also remain unaffiliated and still vote on ballot questions (like the abortion amendment) and non-partisan races.
KCUR assembled a guide to help you navigate Kansas’ 2022 election, including information on how to vote, and a brief rundown of what to expect on your ballot.
Deadline to change party affiliation if already registered: July 1, 2022 Voter registration deadline for primary: July 12, 2022 Advance voting begins: July 13, 2022 Last day to apply for advance mail ballot: July 26, 2022 In-person advance voting ends: Aug. 1, 2022
- Deadline for mailed ballot to be postmarked: Aug. 2, 2022
- Primary election: Aug. 2, 2022
- Last day for mailed ballots to reach the election office and still be counted: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5 p.m.
- Voter registration deadline for general: Oct. 18, 2022
- General election: Nov. 8, 2022
Am I registered to vote?
You must be 18 years old by Election Day, a U.S. citizen and a resident of Kansas to be able to vote in the Kansas primary and general elections. However, you can still register if you are currently 17 but will turn 18 by Election Day.
The deadline to register to vote before Kansas’ August primary was July 12, 2022.
If you think you may already be registered but aren’t sure — or need to double check your party association — there’s an easy way to check online through the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. This site will also show you where your polling place is on Election Day.
In order to register to vote, you will be asked to verify a driver’s license or a non-driver’s ID and fill in some personal information. Those without a driver’s license or non-driver ID can ask for a paper form at the online address below.
You’ll also be asked whether you are currently serving a sentence for felony conviction, which includes probation or parole. If so, you are ineligible to vote. Once probation or parole is finished, you are eligible to re-register to vote.
Your completed application should be returned to the county election office, where registration in person is also available.
Here's where you can can register to vote, or update your registration:
Spanish language voter registration forms are also available on the Secretary of State’s website.
Can I vote in advance if I’m not able to on Election Day?
Kansas offers several options for no-excuse advance voting, both in person and by mail.
All Kansas voters have the option to vote by mail without submitting a reason. However, a new request for a mail-in ballot must be made for each election. Blank forms are available on the Secretary of State’s website.
Advance by-mail ballots can be requested any time, but Kansas won’t start mailing those out until July 13, 2022. When you mail back in your completed ballot, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the county no later than the close of business the Friday after the election. Find your county election office here.
Advance mail ballots can also be dropped off in secure drop boxes provided by the county.
Drop box availability and locations will vary by county and from election to election, so the Secretary of State’s office advises voters to check with their county election office for details. (For example, here are the drop boxes in Johnson County and Wyandotte County.)
Once you’ve mailed in your advance ballot, the Secretary of State’s office offers a way to track your ballot and make sure it’s been received and processed correctly.
In-person advance voting works the same way as regular voting, except you do it before Election Day at one of your county’s advance voting sites. You still need to bring appropriate ID and sign the poll book.
Advance voting sites also vary from year to year, and are not the same as your Election Day polling location. Check with your county election office to find where and when they’re open.
How do I vote on Election Day?
Kansas polling places are open from at least 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Election Day, August 2. Some counties may choose to open polls an hour earlier and keep them open an hour later. If you are in line at the time of closing, you have a right to cast a ballot — stay in line!
Find your polling place and sample ballot at the Secretary of State’s website
By law, Kansas voting must be accessible to voters of all ages and disabilities. If more than 5% of a county’s voting-age population is from a single-language minority and not able to understand English, alternative printed materials or interpreters must be available.
Five counties meet this requirement: Finney, Ford, Grant, Haskell and Seward.
In addition, each polling place must have at least one machine compliant with the Help America Vote Act to allow voters with disabilities to vote in secret.
Do I need voter ID?
Yes. Photo identification is required in Kansas to vote in person, either in advance or on Election Day. (If you vote by mail, you will be asked to provide proof of acceptable ID when you apply for a ballot).
Kansas accepts the following forms of photo identification:
- Driver’s license or ID card issued by the state of Kansas or another state
- U.S. passport
- U.S. military ID
- ID card issued by a Native American tribe
- Employee badge or ID from a government agency
- Student ID card from an postsecondary Kansas school
- Concealed carry license issued
- Public assistance ID card
If you don’t have your ID at the polling place, you will be given a provisional ballot. That means your vote won’t be included in Election Day totals. You must return to the election office to present your ID before your ballot can be counted during the vote canvass.
Provisional ballots can also be issued if you show up at the wrong polling place or if you voted by mail, but then voted again in person.
Registered Kansas voters can apply for a free, non-driver ID card from the Kansas Division of Motor Vehicles. You can download the form online here, or find it at all driver’s license offices and county election offices.
What am I voting on?
In the August primary, Kansas voters will pick their candidates for a number of major states offices — from governor on down — and weigh in on a major abortion rights ballot issue. The entire Kansas House is also up for reelection this year, so you may see those primaries on the ballot too, along with some contests for the State Board of Education and a number of local races.
Here’s a rundown of constitutional amendments and major primary contests in Kansas. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order, and campaign websites are included where they could be found.
You can request a sample ballot from your county election office. Those are also available online as early as 45 days before the election from the Secretary of State’s office, once the counties submit them, but there have been some delays this year due to redistricting. That link also lists your Congressional, state House and Senate, and local districts.
Abortions are currently legal in Kansas. But that may change depending on how Kansas vote on a proposed constitutional amendment appearing on the August 2 ballot.
Passed by the Kansas Legislature, the “Value Them Both Amendment” would change the Kansas Constitution to declare that there is no right to an abortion in the state. After the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, there are no longer nationwide protections for abortion access.
The Kansas constitutional amendment would not ban abortions outright. However, it would open the door to state lawmakers to then pass laws restricting abortion access.
Here is a link to the full ballot language. Voting “yes” means you are in favor of removing the right to an abortion from the Kansas Constitution, while voting “no” would reject the amendment and keep existing protections for abortion access.
All voters in Kansas are allowed to vote on the constitutional amendment, whether or not they are affiliated with a political party. A simple majority vote is required for the amendment to be approved.
Read more about the amendment from the Kansas News Service.
Jerry Moran, who has represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate since 2011, is running for reelection. With the balance of the U.S. Senate at stake this year, expect a lot of attention on the general election race.
- Mike Andra, Wichita
- Paul Buskirk , Lawrence
- Mark Holland, Kansas City
- Robert Klingenberg, Salina
- Michael Soetaert, Alta Vista
- Patrick Wiesner, Overland Park
U.S. House of Representatives
Members of the U.S. House are reelected every two years, so every representative in Kansas is on the ballot this year. However, not all primaries are competitive.
Here's a rundown of Republicans and Democrats running in the primaries for each U.S. House race.
- James “Jimmy” Beard, Garden City
- Tracey Mann, Salina
- Patrick Schmidt, Topeka
- Jake LaTurner, Topeka
- Sharice Davids, Shawnee
- Bob Hernandez, Wichita
- Ron Estes, Wichita
Governor and Lt. Governor
Kansas is the only state won by former President Donald Trump in 2020 that has an incumbent Democratic governor. Now, Gov. Laura Kelly — who took office in 2019 — is facing a tough reelection fight.
Secretary of State
- Jeanna Repass, Overland Park
- Chris Mann, Lawrence
- Lynn Rogers, Wichita