Voting heavy at early polling sites across Kansas

Voting (KSN Photo)
Voting (KSN Photo)

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Election Day may be inching closer but some Kansans have already cast their votes. In fact, quite a lot have.

Twice as many people have voted early in Kansas compared to the last presidential election, according to the office of the Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.

As of Thursday morning, Kobach’s office reported that more than 67,000 people have already voted in person. That’s more than double the nearly 34,000 people who voted at that point in the 2014 election.

The demand for early mail ballots is just as high. Since October 19, nearly 174,000 mail ballots have been sent out across Kansas, according to Kobach’s office.

In Johnson County alone, they’ve broken all-time records every day since in-person voting started there on Monday.

KSN reached out to every election officer or county clerk in our viewing area to find out how early voting is going for ourselves.

We heard back from most and many said they’ve seen an increase in voters or that it’s been pretty steady.

One county told us that while it’s been steady for them, they’ve seen a number of senior citizens register to vote for the first time in their lives.

As of Thursday night, here in Sedgwick County, just over 3,000 people have voted in person at the Sedgwick County Election Office, according to Tabitha Lehman, the Sedgwick County election commissioner.

They’ve sent out more than 63,000 ballots by mail and so far they’ve received around 27,000 back, she said.

So far, Sedgwick County has seen less people vote early in person than in the previous presidential election but they’ve seen an increase in mail ballots, Lehman said. That could reflect a trend in the way people are voting.

The numbers will likely increase once Sedgwick County opens its additional early voting sites on November 1, Lehman said.

For more information on those additional voting sites and when and where they will open, click here.

KSN also asked all the counties if they’ve had any issues so far and what the main concerns their voter have expressed are.

One of the biggest concerns is confusion over proof of citizenship and whether voters need to bring their I.D. to the polls. Keep in mind, the debate over providing proof of citizenship to register to vote in Kansas doesn’t involve I.D. so you’ll still want to bring that to the polls.

For more information on the proof of citizenship debate, click here.

Some have had concerns about the right to hunt and fish question on the ballot. You can learn more about that question before you head out to vote right here.

A number of counties also reported concerns over election and voter fraud.

As far as early voting operations go, KSN received a few comments about lines, but overall, most counties that reported lines have said they’ve been manageable so far and that the early voting process has been an easy one.