CIMARRON, Kan. (KSNW) – Mail-in ballots have been a source of controversy across the nation. As the country nears election day, officials are working to help voters feel confident in the system.
The Kansas Secretary of State approved and provided counties across Kansas an official ballot drop box to help collect confidential sealed ballots.
In rural Gray County, the boxes are a welcomed sight because advance ballot requests are up.
The office has processed 238 advanced ballots, already surpassing the 181 total sent out for the primary election.
Residents can drop off their early votes starting Wednesday, October 14th, and continue through 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
The Gray County Clerk says the ballot boxes have given security to voters who may worry about their ballots not being counted because of the slower mail system in some rural areas.
“Sometimes it can take five, six days to get a ballot to where you want it to go, and so this way, I’ll mail them out on Wednesday, they can get them Wednesday and they can even bring them back up here Wednesday afternoon and drop them off if they would like,” Ashley Rogers, Gray County Clerk.
The boxes are checked periodically throughout the day and on weekends to collect any advanced ballots that have been returned.
If there are any advanced ballots in the boxes, they will then be collected, put in an official locked boxed, and counted on election night.
“The most important thing is people not having to wait on the mail. And there’s so many people concerned about making sure we get their ballots and that they’re counted. In this way, they know the actual election officials touching them and taking them into the office and you know they’ll be processed the right way,” said Rogers.
The boxes also under 24/7 surveillance to help protect against voter fraud.
Voter registration closes October 13 and the last day to request an advanced ballot is October 27.
For more information on voting and candidate profiles, click here.