The Sedgwick County Election Office had a great idea for this election, but it created a little confusion. Instead of mailing out one application for advance voting in the primary and another for the general election, they mailed both at the same time.
It sounds like a great idea that saved the taxpayers money, but a lot of people didn’t pay close attention. One of the applications was marked General Election and the other was marked Primary Election. They were clearly marked and highlighted in yellow. Still, a lot of people didn’t notice the difference.
In Kansas, by law, you have to submit a separate application for an advance mail ballot.
According to Melissa Schneider, deputy election commissioner for Sedgwick County, a lot of people thought the second application was an extra to share, or to use in case they made a mistake.
“The one they were typically sending back was the one for the general because it was at the top,” said Schneider.
When Schneider figured out what was going on, she reached out to the media to help get the word out.
If you only mailed in one application, you might want to check to see if it was for the primary or the general, especially since the deadline to submit the advance ballot application for the primary is this Tues., July 28. You might want to check to see if you mailed in the wrong application. You can check your primary application status @ sedgwickcounty.org/elections. They have not begun processing general advance voting ballots, so information on the status of that application is not available.
They’re still trying to get the word out, about the difference between the two applications, especially to those who may have mailed in the application for the general election application. The deadline to turn in the application is Tues., July 28.
There’s been a large interest in mail-in voting due to COVID-19, said Schneider.
If you’ve missed placed the application and still want to apply you can complete the form online, print it and mail it to the Election Office. They are also accepting “clear photos of applications” via email to email@example.com.
Another option, especially for last minute applications, and for those who don’t have a printer, is ksvotes.org. At this independent, non-partisan site, you can complete your application online and submit it electronically without printing it.
Advance early voting is already open at the Election Office, in the old Sedgwick County Courthouse, 510 N. Main, Wichita. Advance voting at the Election Office continues Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. through Fri., July 31. They are also open on Sat., July 1, 9 a.m. – 4p.m. and Mon., Aug. 2, 8 a.m. to noon.
Other early voting locations will be open July 30-31 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Aug. 1, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. A list of the early voting locations is available on the Election Office website.
They are still accepting applications for poll workers. The minimum age requirement is 16 and the pay is minimum wage. Schnieders says she’s still short about 120 poll workers. You can sign up online on their website, www.sedgwickcounty.org/elections.