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Archive for Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Prepare to vote

Local voters need to do a little extra work this year to be sure they are ready to cast their ballots.

July 10, 2012

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New district lines and new voting regulations mean that voters planning to participate in upcoming elections need to make some additional preparation.

Those who want to vote in the Aug. 7 primary have until July 17 to register. That can be accomplished by visiting the Douglas County Clerk’s office in the courthouse, 1100 Mass., or online through the Kansas Department of Revenue. People registering online must have a valid Kansas driver’s license or state-issued identification card. Voters must show a valid photo ID before casting their ballots this year.

State election officials are encouraging voters with any questions to confirm their registration status now, before the books close next Tuesday. Even if their registration still is valid, many voters will be in different U.S. House and Kansas legislative districts. The districts redrawn only about a month ago by a panel of federal judges are significantly different from the previous districts.

All of Douglas County now is in the 2nd Congressional District, and many changes were made in Kansas House and Senate districts. Some voters also will find that their polling places have changed since the last election. Maps showing the new precinct lines and legislative districts are available on the Douglas County Clerk’s website. Even if you think you know what races will be on your ballot on Aug. 7, it would be worth a look to confirm what districts you currently live in. If you have questions, it’s worth a phone call to get the answers.

Because of the late redistricting action and the scramble to field candidates in the newly drawn districts, the Aug. 7 ballot will include more than the usual number of primary contests. All three Kansas Senate seats that cover Douglas County will have contested races on the Republican ballot — although one candidate in the 2nd Senate District has suspended his campaign and is supporting the other Republican in the race. There also is a three-way race for the Democratic nomination for the state’s 2nd District seat in the U.S. Congress.

Redistricting, which drew a number of incumbent legislators out of their existing districts, guarantees there will be some new faces in the Kansas Legislature next January. It’s an opportunity for both the candidates and the voters. Make sure you’re registered and know which candidates will be on your ballot.

Comments

chicago95 2 years, 2 months ago

Last week's U.S. District Court rulling contains valuable details that were not included in the Journal-World's reporting. It can be found here: http://www.ksd.uscourts.gov/redistricting-case/

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chicago95 2 years, 2 months ago

Careless error: last month -- not last week.

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Carol Bowen 2 years, 2 months ago

OK. Two irritations.

  1. Why doesn't our local newspaper lay this information out for us with maps and descriptions so that we know who to vote for and where. Not online, in the paper.

  2. Why isn't the state mailing information to all registered voters? And, why doesn't the news media pressure them to do so?

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HowardStern 2 years, 2 months ago

You got the public notice. Who reads a rag anymore? I just ran out of but paper.

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Carol Bowen 2 years, 2 months ago

For bird cages, too. Really, though. I live in an older neighborhood. Lots of seniors without Internet. They had a very good voting record when the paper had information on elections. They didn't vote last local election. No information. The Internet is only one form of communication, if we really want to communicate.

Here's a question for you. If no one reads the news, who will read all those ads? Sounds like a business loss to me.

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