In order to exercise your right to vote in Kansas, you must meet the criteria that are listed above.
*You may register to vote before 18 if you will be 18 by the time of the next election.
Registering to vote is a prerequisite to casting your ballot. Registration can be done online or via paper forms. You must be registered to vote at least 21 days prior to Election Day. Same-day voter registration is not allowed in Kansas, although you may be provided a provisional ballot if your registration is in question. Keep in mind that if you change your name, move, or switch party affiliation you will need to re-register. Likewise, if you have been disqualified from voting because of a current felony sentence, you will need to re-register once your sentence is complete.
When it is time to cast your vote, Kansas offers two voting options: both traditional “day-of” voting and advance voting. Advance voting may be conducted up to 20 days before and no later than one week before Election Day. Your advance vote may be cast in advance at your county election office or via mail-in ballot.
If you choose to vote on Election Day, you should know that polling places are required to meet certain minimum accessibility standards. All polling places are considered “public accommodations” and therefore must meet the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Kansas statute further states that polling places must include ramps and handrails, as well as voting booths and doorways that are wheelchair-friendly.
If you feel your voting rights have been compromised or violated, please contact the Office of Secretary of State at 800-262-VOTE(8683).
Federal law establishes that federal elections will be conducted on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Many states, including Kansas, have adopted this as the date on which they conduct state and municipal elections. However, you should keep in mind that there are many other important dates and deadlines related to elections. These dates are established far in advance and are made public in the interest of transparency and accessibility.
If you have registered to vote and you have opted to cast your ballot in person on Election Day, you will need to visit your assigned polling place. In general, polling places are required to be open from 7:00am to 7:00pm on Election Day. If your local polling place has adopted different hours, they must announce those hours publicly through their county election office. Remember that while your polling place has specific hours, as long as you are in line while the polls are open, you still have the right to vote!
While most of us will participate in an election by voting, only a small percentage of people actually choose to run for office. Whether you are running for your local school board or for President of the United States, candidates must file their declaration with the Kansas Secretary of State. Candidates must also meet certain eligibility requirements and pay a filing fee.
The names of candidates for upcoming elections is made public and updated each time an eligible candidate declares their intent to run for office.
There are many opportunities in Kansas to get involved and make a difference. For those who want to learn more about working for the government first-hand, you might consider one of the following:
If your interest in serving your community lies outside the proverbial courthouse steps, there are several organizations that specialize in cultivating a spirit of volunteerism within Kansans and matching them with the right opportunities:
The Kansas Volunteer Commission works to expand the opportunities, initiate collaborations, and create opportunities to build resources and strengthen service, mentoring and volunteerism in Kansas.
Since 1993, the Kansas Volunteer Commission has been promoting community service by administering grants to the AmeriCorps and Volunteer Generation Fund programs in Kansas, strengthening volunteer centers, and encouraging volunteerism and mentoring.