Thousands have already voted early in Douglas County ahead of Aug. 2 election

photo by: Kim Callahan/Journal-World

The Douglas County Elections Office on West 23rd Street is pictured on July 13, 2022.

Thousands of people have already voted early in Douglas County, and election officials expect heavy voting to continue on Tuesday for election day.

County Clerk Jamie Shew said early in-person voting has been “extremely heavy,” with the number of votes received ahead of election day already nearing 12,000 as of Monday evening. Turnout is being driven by the proposed constitutional amendment regarding abortion, and Shew expected heavy voting to continue Tuesday since a lot of messaging about the amendment emphasized the Aug. 2 voting date rather than early voting options.

“So that message may create some lines at the polls,” Shew said.

Shew said his office has gotten calls from a lot of people thinking they have to wait until Aug. 2 to vote. He added that recent sickness among a number of poll workers also means the election office may have less staff, so he urged voters to be patient as they head to their polling places on Tuesday.

Shew said Monday evening that the final tally of in-person early votes came in at 11,959, compared to the 15,000 votes normally received total in primary elections. He said about 8,000 mail-in ballots had been sent out with 4,808 making it back as of Monday.

For those who still need to deliver a mail-in ballot, Shew recommended that voters either drop it off at a ballot drop box or deposit it in any of the yellow drop bags that will be available at all polling places on Tuesday (the drop bag used does not have to correspond to a voter’s assigned polling place). State law requires mail-in ballots to be postmarked by election day and received by Friday to be accepted, and Shew said his office is recommending the drop-off options because currently mail is taking anywhere from two to 11 days to travel within the same zip code.

“(We) can’t guarantee if you mail it today or Tuesday that we will actually receive in by Friday,” Shew said.

Ballot drop boxes for mail-in ballots are located at the Douglas County Elections Office, 711 W. 23rd St.; the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St.; outside the Flory building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St.; and outside the Golf Course Superintendents Building, 1421 Research Park Drive. Drop boxes are also located outside Eudora City Hall, Lecompton City Hall and Baldwin City Hall. The drop boxes are secured and will close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. There are 77 polling places across the county, and a complete list can be found on the Douglas County Elections website,

For those planning to vote on Tuesday, they should be sure to bring their photo ID and leave any campaign-related garb at home. Any government issued photo ID can be used to cast a ballot, which Shew said includes a driver’s license, passport, tribal ID or a concealed carry license. In addition, a college ID for any Kansas private or public school can also be used. Shew said that by law, T-shirts, buttons, signs or other material that advocates for or against any candidate, party or question on the ballot are not allowed at the polls.

If for some reason someone forgets an ID or does not have a valid ID, they can still cast a provisional ballot. Shew said those provisional voters must then provide their ID before the canvas on Aug. 15 so that provisional ballot will count. A provisional ballot can also be cast if a voter encounters other issues with an attempted vote, such as an issue with registration status. The elections office then researches those provisional ballots.

Voters across the state will cast their ballots on whether to amend the state constitution to remove any constitutional right to an abortion in Kansas. Though primary elections typically require voters to be registered with a political party, all registered Kansas voters regardless of party affiliation, including unaffiliated voters, can cast a vote on the abortion amendment. Unaffiliated voters will receive a ballot with only the proposed amendment.

Voters affiliated with a party will also vote in primary races for U.S. Senate, Kansas governor, other statewide offices, and local voters in the primary for the Douglas County Commission.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Voters can check their registration, polling place and see a sample ballot at Douglas County Elections website,


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