SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Those in Sedgwick County that wish to vote early now have more locations to choose from.

The Sedgwick County Election Office has expanded Early Vote Centers making 16 locations available for in-person early voting. Early voting and advanced ballot drop off are available at The Sedgwick County Election Office (510 N. Main. Street, STE 101) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours of operation at this location change to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 1, and 8 a.m. to noon on August 3. Early voting will stop at Noon on August 3 for the Primary Election.

The Election Office added the additional voting locations open today for the Primary Election. Early voting will be available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 30 – 31. Polling locations will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 1.

Votes taken by mail-in ballot may play a very crucial roll in the upcoming election season. Historically, Sedgwick County sees between 8,000 to 9,000 requests for mail-in ballots. This year the request has skyrocketed closer to 55,000 requests, heightened by COVID-19 concerns according to Sedgwick County Election supervising judge David Pullinger.

“What we’re hoping is that they will all actually mail them in or drop them off,” Pullinger told KSN.

Emily Cable, a cross-trained clerk working at the Sedgwick County Extension office, says they’re getting many people dropping off their mail-in ballots, but those wishing to vote on-site shouldn’t have to worry. They can submit a written ballot, or use any of the electronic voting stations that are cleaned and maintained by staff.

“Most people choose to vote on the express vote machines,” said Cable. “We have special stylus’ so no one actually has to touch the equipment. Everything is a single-serve, so our voters are safe.”

Advanced mailing ballots can also be dropped off at any of the Early Vote Center locations. Election officials ask the public to bring a photo I.D. and wear a mask when entering polling locations.