The Beacon is here to answer your questions about voting in the November general election. We will respond directly to readers’ questions as they come in, and we will also publish the answers here and in our newsletter.
You may also check out our two voting guides:
Why are some candidates on the ballot without a political party? – Phyllis C., Sept. 8, 2022
While voters may be used to candidates running for public office under the banner of a political party, some candidates, such as some judges, run without a party affiliation.
For every voter across Kansas, state Supreme Court justices and state Court of Appeals judges are on the ballot as nonpartisan candidates; voters are asked if they want to retain those judges in their positions. Some district court judges also appear on the ballot as nonpartisan retention candidates, while other judicial districts use a partisan election process to elect judges.
Locally, other candidates may appear on the ballot as nonpartisan candidates — candidates for the Johnson County Commission, for example, do not run under a party banner — but this will vary based on location.
Voters can preview their ballot using the state’s VoterView portal to see which offices have candidates running in nonpartisan elections.
Does my party registration determine which ballot I receive in November? – Via reader email, Aug. 16, 2022
Party registration should not impact which ballot voters receive in the November general election. At the polling places, everyone will receive the same precinct ballot, regardless of which party they have declared, unlike in the August primary election.
Political party affiliation on a voter’s registration is used to determine which candidates appear on that voter’s primary ballot. Kansas voters who are not affiliated with a political party may not vote on party primary candidates.
I’ve moved since the last election. How do I update my polling location? – Lynna H., Aug. 2, 2022
Voters who need to update any of their registration information, including a new address or a name change, should fill out a new voter registration form, either online using the secretary of state’s online registration form or through their county election office. The deadline to register is Oct. 18, for both new and existing voters.
If a voter’s registration information is current, there is no need to re-register.
How do I look up my polling location? – Lynna H., Aug. 2, 2022
Voters can look up their polling location using the state’s VoterView portal. The address, hours of operation and parking location for that polling location should also be listed on VoterView. For additional questions or for information about early voting locations, voters can contact their county election office.
When are polls open? – Lynna H., Aug. 2, 2022
All polls in Kansas are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. Some polling locations may open as early as 6 a.m. and may close as late as 8 p.m. To confirm the operating hours for their polling location, voters can look up their polling location information using VoterView. Voters can contact their county election office for information about when early voting is available.
What if the ballot I receive at the polls has different candidates than my sample ballot? – Matthew M., Aug. 1, 2022
A voter who is given a ballot that does not match their sample ballot should ask workers at the polling location to verify that they received the correct ballot. Different precincts have different ballots, and, while unlikely, it is possible that a voter could be handed a ballot for a different precinct, especially at a polling location with multiple precincts, like an early-voting location.
It’s best to check with poll workers before a ballot is filled out. If a voter feels that they were not allowed to vote using the correct ballot, they should contact their county election office. Voters may also contact voting rights advocacy organizations, such as the nonpartisan “election protection” hotline offered by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas.
Voters who encounter problems at the polls are encouraged to call the hotline:
- English: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
- Spanish/English: 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
- Asian languages/English: 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683)
- Arabic/English: 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287)
Is there anything on the Aug. 2 primary ballot for unaffiliated voters?
– via Facebook, July 22, 2022
Yes. Every registered voter in Kansas may vote in the Aug. 2 primary, even if they are not affiliated with a political party. Unaffiliated and Libertarian voters may be unaccustomed to voting in primary elections, but this year, every Kansas voter may vote.
There is a statewide special election where all voters in Kansas may vote on a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would add language saying there is no constitutional right to an abortion.
Voters who are unaffiliated with a party, along with Libertarian voters, will receive a ballot with only the abortion amendment.
Voters who are affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties will also vote on primary races.
How may I see my ballot in advance of voting?
– Susan O. and Ed B., July 20, 2022
Voters may view their sample ballots online using the state’s VoterView portal.
To log in, enter your first name, last name and date of birth and you should see your voter information near the top of your screen. Just below, you should see a drop-down menu. If you want to view your primary ballot, select “08/02/2022 2022 Primary Election.” For the general election, select “11/08/2022 2022 General Election.”
Once you’ve selected the election you wish to view, scroll down until you find the section of the page titled “Sample Ballots.” It should be below the “Polling Location” section. There, you will find the hyperlinks that will open PDFs of the sample ballot(s) for your precinct. For the primary, you should find different ballots for Democratic, Republican and unaffiliated voters.
If you click on the hyperlinked ballot, it should open in a new tab or window on your browser, depending on your settings. If a ballot does not appear when you log in, or if your ballot doesn’t look like you expect it to, please call your county election office with questions. You can look up your county election office’s contact information here.
Please note that ballots may appear in VoterView as late as 20 days before that election. Ballots for the August 2022 primary election were uploaded to the VoterView system on July 13. Ballots for the November 2022 general election should be uploaded by Oct. 19.
Is the vote on abortion in the Kansas primary this August a “final” decision, or will it come back for a second vote?
– via email, July 13, 2022
This is the final vote on this abortion amendment and the only time voters will see it on the ballot. Even though the abortion amendment is on the primary ballot, it is not a primary race. There is no second vote for the abortion amendment as there will be for (some) candidates who appear on the same ballot.
Does the abortion amendment require a majority of votes to become law?
– via email, July 13, 2022
Yes, to pass the abortion amendment would require a simple majority of votes, or 50% plus one vote. Before an amendment is placed on the ballot, lawmakers first write a bill with the language of the amendment they want passed.To advance, the amendment must pass through both chambers of the state legislature with a two-thirds majority in each. The final step is for voters to vote on the amendment during an election on a date specified by the amendment’s authors. It must pass by a simple majority if it is to become part of the state’s constitution.
The text of the constitution explaining the amendment process is here.
Is there a mail-in ballot for primary elections?
– via email, July 13, 2022
Advance ballots for the Aug. 2 election began mailing out on July 13.
One way you can check if you applied for an advance mail-in ballot for this election cycle is to look up your information on the state’s VoterView portal. When you log in, it should say if there is an advance ballot application on record for the selected election.
If you are sure that you applied for the Aug. 2 election, but VoterView has no record of your application, contact your county election office. Each county manages its own advance mail-in ballot application process. If you have not yet applied for an advance mail-in ballot, your county election office can also tell you how to apply and the application deadline.
If you decide to vote another way, like early in-person voting, we have more information in our Beacon voting guides that may help if you have additional questions.
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