TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Democratic Presidential Primary election was done entirely by mail-in voting this year and saw record turnout. This creates new questions about what elections could look like moving forward.
It is being projected that we will see another wave of coronavirus hit in the fall or winter, which may have an impact on in-person voting. Kansas Secretary of State, Scott Schwab, says that, for now, everything will remain the same — but with a few added safety measures.
“I don’t see a good purpose to take away people’s options to vote,” said Schwab. “Because then I think you narrow the amount of people who go out to vote.”
You will be able to vote early at your local elections office or at advance polling locations as normal. If you would prefer to stay home, you can also vote via mail-in ballot. Secretary Schwab says he has asked counties to send mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters, so they know they have that option.
Voting on election day at polling locations will continue as normal, but thanks to federal funding under the CARES Act, Secretary Schwab says health and safety measures are being taken to keep poll workers and voters safe.
“We’ve purchased over a million dollars of PPE. That includes hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and those plexi-shields that are being deployed to every county election office across the state,” explained Schwab.
In-person voting requires poll workers and Secretary Schwab is encouraging young people to apply to be poll workers for the upcoming elections. He says they need healthy, tech-savvy people to help out. Poll workers are paid positions, contact your county’s election office for information.
“You don’t have to be 18 to volunteer to work as a poll worker. You could be 16 or 17 and we’re asking all of that younger generation, please get engaged in civic activity,” added Schwab.
Schwab says that he has already begun meeting with county election officers over the phone to plan for the upcoming elections. He says that they want to avoid drastic changes to the voting system.
“This is a very important election and we don’t want to take any chances of exacerbating any confusion that may be out there. So, the more we can stay the course, the better,” said Schwab.
Below are some key dates that you should know ahead of the August and November elections:
- June 1: Deadline to file as a Candidate
- June 1: Deadline for voters to change party affiliation
- July 14: Deadline to register to vote
- July 15: Advance voting by mail begins and advance in-person voting may begin
- July 28: Deadline for voters to apply for advance ballots by mail for the primary election
- August 4: Primary Election
- August 7: Deadline for receipt of advance ballots by mail postmarked on/before primary election day
- October 13: Deadline to register to vote
- October 14: Advance voting by mail begins and advance in-person voting may begin
- October 27: Deadline for voters to apply for advance ballots by mail for the general election
- November 3: General Election
- November 6: Deadline for receipt of advance ballots by mail postmarked on/before general election day