In preparation for Tuesday’s primary election, Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew answered some questions that he said continue to cause confusion among voters, particularly concerning Kansas’ new voter ID law.
Shew said his office was receiving many calls from concerned voters, but he hoped that even voters with questions will come to the polls Tuesday. No one should leave the polls without having the opportunity to vote, he said, even if it means voting through a provisional ballot. Voters who cast provisional ballots will have an opportunity to provide additional ID or other information after the election to confirm their eligibility and make sure their votes are counted.
Here are some common questions and Shew’s answers:
What kind of identification do I need to vote?
A driver’s license or state-issued ID card will work, as will a U.S. passport, government employee badge (issued by a Kansas government entity), student ID card or Kansas concealed carry license.
Does the address on my ID need to match my address in the poll book?
No. Election officials will accept identification cards from across the country. You do not need proof of address to vote, as long as you are registered.
Does my full name need to exactly match that on my ID?
No. “It’s commonly accepted that ‘Jim’ and ‘James’ will be the same person,” Shew said. But surnames do need to match. If your ID does not match your last name in the register or vice versa, you can cast a provisional ballot and then provide matching identification to clear up the name confusion.
If I cast a provisional ballot, will my vote be counted?
Yes. Voters who cast provisional ballots have seven business days to present a proper ID so their vote is counted.
How do I make sure?
ID verification can be provided to the clerk’s office by fax, email, mail or in person. You can get more information about where and how to send your documentation by calling 832-5267.
Will I get any reminders?
Shew said he had appointed an “ID liaison” to call provisional voters in the week following the election and remind them to submit their IDs.
I want to get ID before the primary. Do I still have time?
Shew’s office has begun issuing county ID cards that can be used for voting and can be processed in about a day. Members of the clerk’s staff have visited several group living facilities and will continue to do so through Monday, Shew said. If you’d like to get a county ID for yourself or ask about having representatives visit your home or agency, you can reach the office at 832-5267.
Do I have to vote in the primary?
Shew said that a common misconception is that people must vote in the primary to be eligible to vote in the November general election. That’s not the case. Registered voters will remain on the rolls even if they don’t vote Tuesday.
Can I change my party affiliation in this primary?
Unaffiliated voters can declare an affiliation on the day of the primary, but voters registered with one party can’t switch to the other at the polls.
Where can I get more information? Or see a sample ballot?
DouglasCountyElections.com has more information, including a place to check your registration, find your polling place and see a sample ballot.