The Feb. 27 primary is three weeks away, but you can cast your ballot as early as Wednesday. That's when advance voting starts in Kansas.
Advance voting was especially popular in Douglas County before November's general election, when 18 percent of the total votes cast were advance ballots. But election officials aren't sure what to expect for this month's primary.
"We'd hope that it would be a tool that people will continue to use," said Keith Campbell, the county's deputy clerk of elections. "We've found it is becoming more and more popular as people become more aware of it, especially for people who may not be in town and won't be able to make it to the polls."
Not every race will have a primary. In Lawrence, a primary is needed to whittle the number of candidates for the City Commission. There are three seats open on the commission and nine candidates. A total of six will proceed to the April 3 general election. The school board race, which has eight candidates for four seats, does not require a primary.
A primary also will be conducted in Baldwin City, where seven candidates are vying for three open positions on the City Council. One of those candidates will be eliminated in the primary.
The Baldwin City school board has four openings, but it is the at-large Position 7 that attracted four candidates.
The ballots will instruct voters on how many candidates they can vote for in each race, Campbell said.
"My hope is that we will have sample ballots up on our Web site by Wednesday so people can see them before they vote," Campbell said. The Web site address is www.douglascountyelections.com.
Advance voting can be completed in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the courthouse, 1100 Mass. It will continue until Feb. 26 when in-person voting will stop at noon.
Advance voting also can be conducted by mail. Voters must complete an advance voting application form (PDF format) from the Web site and mail it to the clerk's Douglas County Election Office. The completed application must be received before 5 p.m. the Friday before the election, which is Feb. 23. Once voters complete the ballot, they can mail it or deliver it in person. Mail ballots must be received before 7 p.m. Election Day.
The deadline for registering to vote in the primary is Monday.