Don't want to venture to the polls but still want to do your civic duty?
Beginning with elections in 1996, Kansas voters will be able to vote in advance -- no questions asked.
Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes said the new law, passed by the 1995 Kansas Legislature, replaces a provision for absentee ballots. Previously, voters had to be sick, disabled or out of the county on Election Day in order to qualify for an absentee ballot.
``Now there's no requirement for an excuse,'' Jaimes said.
Jaimes received authorization from the Douglas County Commission this morning to set up advance voting booths in the commission chambers in the Douglas County Courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts, for the 20 days prior to elections in 1996.
In addition to voting at the courthouse, voters still will be able to obtain advance ballots by mail.
Three elections are planned next year, beginning with the presidential preference primary on April 2. The regular primary and general elections will be held on Aug. 6 and Nov. 5.
Because 1996 is a presidential election year, Jaimes expects voter turnout to be high and a significant number of voters to take advantage of the new advance voting provision.
For the last presidential election in 1992, when the restrictions on absentee ballots still applied, 1,944 people voted absentee. Although that number will jump, Jaimes said she had no way of estimating how much.
Jaimes said the law was passed to help alleviate long lines that form at polling places in some areas of the state. Also, the advance voting provision will help voters whose work commitments don't take them out of county but make it difficult to vote.