Thanks to a new law, people interested in voting in the Aug. 7 Republican and Democratic primary elections have an extra five days to register.
The 1990 Kansas Legislature moved the deadline for voter registration from 20 days to 15 days before an election.
But this year, in most places where registration is taken in Douglas County, that extra five days is cut to three days because of a weekend.
Under the new state law, Sunday, July 22, is the last day to register, but most government offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday so Friday, July 20, is the date to remember.
At the Douglas County Courthouse, the deadline to register for the primary is 9 p.m. next Friday. The hours for registration at the courthouse will be extended until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Voters also may register during normal business hours at Independence Inc., 1910 Haskell, and at Lawrence City Hall.
IN DOUGLAS County, voters may register at Eudora City Hall and the Eudora Library; at the Ledger and Telegraphics newspaper office in Baldwin; and at Kroeger County Store in Lecompton.
The deadline for registration at the Eudora Library is 5 p.m. Thursday; at Eudora City Hall, noon July 21; at the newspaper office in Baldwin, 5 p.m. July 20; and at Kroeger Country Store, 6 p.m. July 22.
For the most part, the primary election is partisan. But Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes said Lawrence voters who do not wish to declare as a Republican or Democrat can vote in the non-partisan special election on the proposal to increase the city sales tax by one-half cent.
If voters wish to change party affiliation before the primary, Jaimes said they must do so at the courthouse by 9 p.m. July 20. She said the various other voter registation places do not have the forms for a party affiliation change.
"There's been a lot of interest this year in people switching parties," Jaimes said.
THE DEADLINE for obtaining absentee ballots for the primary election is noon Aug. 6, Jaimes said. She added, however, that people who are sick or physically disabled can apply for an absentee ballot until noon on election day, Aug. 7.
Jaimes said a number of people have come to the courthouse for absentee ballots. Most people fill out the ballots at the courthouse and turn them in, but some take them home to fill out, Jaimes said.
All absentee ballots must be returned to the courthouse by 7 p.m. Aug. 7, she said.