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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

How to vote: A comprehensive guide for students

Cameryn Davis

Impact of your vote

Democracy is built from representation, and voting is an essential right of citizens to make the government represent the people’s will. The upcoming election has the ability to impact local politics in a variety of ways. 

This election will decide who holds the position of mayor and elect three city council members and three school board members for the Wichita Unified School District 259. The Sunflower has compiled a guide of voting resources and registration information for the readers.

How to vote

To be eligible to vote in the state of Kansas, you must be:

  • A United States citizen
  • 18 years of age or older at the time of the election
  • A Kansas resident

Voter Registration:

If you are not a Wichita resident, you must decide whether to vote in your home state/county or in Kansas/Sedgwick County. If you choose to vote in your home state/county, you will need to request an absentee ballot or be willing to drive home on Election Day. 

There are three ways to register to vote in Kansas:

  1. Using the federal voter registration form.
  2. At the DMV while applying for a new or renewing an existing license.
  3. Using the state voter registration form, which can be filled out in person or online.

Mail-in votes:

Vote411 describes the steps to vote by mail:

  • “Complete the application for an advance ballot.”
  • Provide either your driver’s license number or a copy of your photo identification document with your application.
  • “Return the application to your county election office before the registration deadline for the next election.”
  • Once receiving your ballot in the mail, “complete and return your ballot to your county election office by mail for the next election.”
  • “All ballots must be received in the county election office by the close of the polls on Election Day.”
  • “You may request assistance in applying for and casting an advance voting ballot.”

Voting at the Polls

To find out where to vote, look up a polling place search. The Kansas State Secretary provides a polling place locator on its website; Vote411 has a similar resource. 

What to bring:

In the state of Kansas, voters are required to bring a valid photo ID. 

Early in Person Voting:

Early voting will be available at the Sedgwick county election office from Oct. 23 to Nov. 6. To find more locations for early voting, go to Sedgwick county’s website.

Voter accessibility:

Federal and State law require the election process to be accessible to all voters.

If you feel your voting rights have been violated, contact the Office of Secretary of State at 800-262-VOTE(8683).

Voters have the right to ballot accessibility, polling place accessibility and language assistance.

  • Ballot Accessibility: Every poll location must have at least one Help America Vote Act compliant machine that allows voters with disabilities to vote independently.
  • Polling Place Accessibility: Polling places are public accommodations and must be accessible to all voters. The Americans with Disabilities Act checklist is used to guide accessibility at the polls.
  • English as a Second Language: If more than 5% of a county’s voters include members of a single-language minority group, alternative language assistance must be provided. Five Kansas counties provide alternative language assistance: Finney, Ford, Grant, Haskell and Seward. 

Knowing your candidates: Mayoral and School Board

Candidates and Issues:

  • Tune into debates and forums that involve candidates so you can get an idea of what position they have on issues you care about.
    • If you can’t make it to a debate, there are generally articles written that summarize what happened as well as recordings.
  • Local news outlets cover candidates throughout their campaign. The Sunflower, The Wichita Eagle, KMUW, The Wichita Beacon, and more all provide coverage of local government. 
  • Candidates have campaign websites and social media where you can learn about their platforms and upcoming events. 
  • If you have any questions that you can’t get answered online, contact the candidates. Their contact information is often available through their websites and social media. 

Nonpartisan Resources:

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About the Contributors
Taliyah Winn
Taliyah Winn, Assistant News Editor
Taliyah Winn is the assistant news editor for the Sunflower. She is a sophomore at WSU, double majoring in political science and journalism. In her spare time, Winn relaxes by drawing, weightlifting, and crocheting - usually while listening to music, YouTube videos, or Dungeons & Dragons podcasts. Winn uses she/her pronouns.
Cameryn Davis
Cameryn Davis, Illustrator/Designer
Cameryn Davis is an illustrator and designer for The Sunflower. She is a freshman at Wichita State University majoring in secondary English education and hopes to become TESOL certified. Davis plans to eventually teach the English language in Brazil. She uses she/her pronouns.

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