Advance ballots for the Aug. 1 primary election for city council races around Sedgwick County started going out last week. There will be some changes to how voters will receive and return their ballots.
The local primary next month will be the first election since the Kansas Legislature voted earlier this year to change the state’s ballot-by-mail laws.
Before, the election office had to receive mail-in ballots by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Now, ballots need to be postmarked by 7 p.m. that day, and received by the following Friday.
“It gives people a little more time to get their ballot back to us," says Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman. "The other thing that’s different is that people can now drop off their ballot at any election day polling location and we can count that ballot. [Instead of] them having to actually drive it down to the election office on Election Day, they can drop it off at the closest polling location."
The last day the election office can send out advance ballots is the Tuesday before Election Day. Voters can request an advance ballot from the Sedgwick County Election Office.
In-person early voting also started Monday at the Sedgwick County election office in downtown Wichita. More voting locations will be open in the days before the election.
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