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Sedgwick County Election Commissioner shares contingency plan for this year’s election cycle

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman on Wednesday provided three goals for a contingency plan for this year’s election cycle — including protecting workers from the spread of COVID-19, protecting voters from being disenfranchised, and protecting the integrity of the election.

When asked if the upcoming election can be switched to ‘all by mail’, Lehman said, “The answer right now is Kansas law restricts any election that has a candidate on the ballot from being conducted solely by mail, so the answer is no.”

Lehman explained they normally send out an advance mail flyer in September to encourage people to vote by mail and give them early voting options, but this year, they are planning on sending those out in May instead of September.

That mailer will include an application to vote by mail for the primary and the general elections and will give voters a web link for finding out what their early voting options are.

“Because we feel this will continue to change, and we don’t want to put something in writing and have it be incorrect,” Lehman stated.

“By encouraging people to vote by mail. we’re hopeful it will reduce the number of people at the polling place, and so that if we have fewer election workers it won’t create long lines. That will also allow us to do social distancing,” Lehman added. “We are working on providing personal protective equipment for our election workers and best practices for disinfecting our voting machines and our polling places.”

For more information or to reach the Sedgwick County Elections Office, click here.

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