Kansas’ voter registration day looms


The Sunflower

Prospective voters in Kansas have just five days left to register to vote in the Nov. 8 General Election.

Anyone needing to register to vote or update their registration information may do so until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

“If they’re mailing us the application as long as it’s postmarked on the 18th, then we can accept that,” said Tabitha Lehman, Sedgwick County election commissioner. “If they do it online, as long as the time date stamp is before 11:59 p.m., we can take it.”

First-time voters can log on to kdor.ks.gov to register to vote. It takes about five minutes to fill out, Lehman said, and then the voter needs to send proof of U.S. citizenship, which can be emailed to [email protected] for residents of Sedgwick County. Voters can also register at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Those needing to double check voter registration status can at https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org.

“Make sure your name and address is correct,” Lehman said. “Also at that website, you can pull down a PDF of your sample ballot so you can look at your options of who you can vote for prior to going to the polls and make those decisions. We recommend people do that.”

Advanced voting ballots will be mailed out beginning Wednesday and continue to be mailed until the Friday before the election, Nov. 4. Lehman recommends not waiting until the last minute to request an advanced ballot.

“There have been changes in the delivery of the postal system and it does take longer for mail to get back and forth now, so we just really encourage people to go ahead and not delay on requesting that ballot,” Lehman said.

George Dehner, Wichita State associate professor of history, said it’s important to vote in every election, because it’s part of every citizen’s duties.

“It’s an obligation you have as a citizen of the United States,” Dehner said. “But I think these particular elections, both national and local, are really quite divergent in what their goals are. It’s a very important election for citizens to make their voices heard.”

Dehner predicts historians will consider this election as a “watershed election” because the election could change the long-term direction of the nation.

“I think certainly every election is important, but this is one where there are quite diametrically opposed visions of how the nation should operate,” Dehner said.

Lehman agreed with Dehner’s assessment of the election.

“There’s a lot at stake and there’s always a lot at stake,” she said. “I would say that people really need to be engaged in voting.”

Dehner called voting a duty and obligation and a gift the American people have that should be exercised so all voices are heard.

“It’s an obligation, which always sounds somewhat onerous,” Dehner said. “But it really is an opportunity that we should not treat lightly.”