With the presidential election nearing 50 days away, it’s time to make sure your voting papers are in order.
CHECK YOUR VOTING STATUS
Begin by checking to make sure your current registration is valid, particularly if you haven’t voted in a while, your registration may have been purged. Also check to make sure your address on your voter registration is current and if it isn’t, submit your change of address.
Also check the address for your polling site. Even if you didn’t move, your polling location may have.
In Kansas, you can find all the answer to all of these questions by entering your name and birth date at https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/voterview.
In Missouri, you can find this information at https://s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup/. Residents of Kansas City, MO, can check their voter registration status at www.kceb.org/voters/status.
Rules for registering and voting in each state differs, so make sure you know the rules for your state.
In Kansas, the deadline to be registered to vote in the presidential election is Tues., Oct. 13. This means if you mail in your registration, it must be received – not just mailed – by that date.
In Missouri, the deadline to register to vote is Wed., Oct. 7. Missouri law requires mailed-in registrations to be postmarked, not necessarily received, no later than that date.
Here are a few ways to register in Kansas. You can register in person at your local county election office, but make sure they’re open. Some election offices closed for public access due to COVID-19, and some may not have reopened.
In Sedgwick County, you can register in person at the Sedgwick County Election Office, 510 N Main, #101, Wichita.
Shawnee County makes it easy to register to vote. You can register and vote at most bank locations, including Capitol Federal Savings and Loans, CoreFirst Bank & Trust, and Fidelity State Bank and Trust. Voter registration is also available at most high schools, Washburn University Memorial Union, and at Shawnee County Libraries, in addition to the County Courthouse and Election Office at 3420 SW Van Buren St., Topeka.
Wyandotte County allows you to register at public libraries, in addition to the Clerk’s Office for the City and the Election Office at 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, KS.
You can register online via your county election office website. Most of those sites send you to the Secretary of State’s website to register, www.kdor.ks.gov/apps/voterreg/default.aspx. At this site, you can also opt to print out the registration form, to complete it and then mail it in.
The independently operated website ksvotes.org also allows you to check your voter registration.
In Missouri, you can similarly submit your registration at your local election office. Kansas City has its own Board of Elections separate from the Jackson County Election.
The Kansas City Election Board is located at 30 W. Pershing Road, Suite 2800. Individuals can also register at the City Hall Action Center, 414 E. 12th, or at most libraries.
To register to vote online, go to the Missouri Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.
MOTOR VOTER LAWS
Since 1995, Federal law has required states to “offer voter registration opportunities to any eligible person who applies for or renews a driver’s license or applies for public assistance.” So, if you plan on renewing or obtaining your license between now and the registration deadline, make sure to ask to be registered to vote. You may need to ask because some locations may not aggressively push voter registration.
ADVANCE BALLOT AND VOTE BY MAIL
More on this in our next issue. But for now, know the deadlines to request an application.
The deadline to request an application is Wed., Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. The deadline is the same for an absentee ballot and a vote-by-mail application, which are different in Missouri.
The deadline to request an advance vote by-mail application is Tues., Oct. 27.