voting

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The number of Kansas voters not affiliated with the Democratic, Republican or Libertarian parties is growing.

Kansas remains a Republican stronghold: The GOP is the state’s largest party with 44 percent of the registered voters in the state.

The number of unaffiliated voters stands at about 30 percent, higher than the ranks of Democrats.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach said during a press conference Thursday that the number of unaffiliated voters has been growing in recent years, and the presidential race this year has sustained that trend.

Kansans can cast their ballots early (and many are doing so). But for everyone who wants to vote on Election Day, here are some things you need to know:

1. What’s my registration status?

It doesn’t hurt to check before you go. Kansas residents can check online to see if they’re registered to vote.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Nearly twice as many Kansas voters are now casting ballots at early polling sites across the state, compared to the last presidential election, according to the secretary of state's office.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, 67,211 people voted in person almost double the 33,832 who did so at that point in the 2014 election. Mail-in ballots are going out at roughly the same pace, with 173,893 mail-in ballots sent out since Oct. 19 across Kansas. Some 49,568 mail-in ballots have been returned. 

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Dozens of Wichita high school students and young adults are trying to get people engaged in the election process this year.

They staged a large gathering called a “Vote Mob” at the Sedgwick County Courthouse on Tuesday. KMUW’s Abigail Beckman caught up with some first-time voters.

The U.S. attorney’s office for Kansas will have a hotline ready where voters can report any potential problems on Election Day.

Election Day issues can range from signs or other campaigning too close to a polling place all the way to intimidating voters or trying to impersonate a voter.

Ho John Lee / flickr Creative Commons

Kansans who want to vote by mail for the fall election should probably get on it sooner rather than later.

In Kansas, voters can request advance ballots, mail them back and skip going to the polls at all. Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Bruce Newby says if that’s what you want to do, request a ballot as soon as possible. There needs to be enough time for election officials to mail you a ballot, for you to fill it out and mail it back.

Newby stresses that the ballots have to be back by the end of Election Day.

vox_efx / Flickr / Creative Commons

Sedgwick County’s early voting period begins on Monday at the election office in downtown Wichita.

Updated, 10:20 a.m. Monday: The timeline has been updated to include additional documentation from the Secretary of State's Office regarding the language printed on DMV receipts in July.

Despite a court order clearing the way for them to vote this November, Kansans who registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles were still being told they would need to provide proof of citizenship up until an Oct. 18 deadline.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A federal judge has revived a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Kansas law requiring prospective voters to prove they are U.S. citizens.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson on Wednesday gave Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach a pass for failing to file a timely response to the lawsuit. She set aside a court clerk's default judgment issued last week against the state.

Robinson says the case is of constitutional significance and public interest, and that it deserves to be decided on the merits and not through procedural default.

It would be hard not to know there’s a presidential election going on. There’s lots of action at the state level too.

Already, with the results of the August primaries, there’s a lot of turnover in the Legislature. And there are at least 10 Kansas Senate races and 20 House races that are competitive in the general elections.

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