One week left to register to vote in Kansas; Douglas County Jail staff assisting inmates who request ballots
photo by: Journal-World File Photo
Kansas’ deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 general election is just a week away: Tuesday, Oct. 13.
In the meantime, staff members at the Douglas County Jail are helping inmates register and request advance ballots.
Kansas residents 18 and older who are United States citizens are eligible to vote. That includes anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor, according to information on a flyer from the Federal Public Defender’s Office and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas.
Those who have been convicted of felonies are able to register or reregister to vote in Kansas once they have completed their sentences, including any probation, parole or post-release supervision, according to the flyer.
Jenn Hethcoat, public information officer for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said the voting flyers have been placed in all housing units so the inmates are aware of their options. As of Friday morning, the jail’s reentry program had assisted two inmates in registering to vote, and a third was working on paperwork, she said.
“Employees will assist inmates to check their registration status, register to vote, and request mail-in ballots,” Hethcoat said via email. “If an inmate does not possess a valid government issued photo identification the Sheriff’s Office will provide them with a Certification of Identification that serves as the ID needed to vote.”
Jail staff hand-deliver completed mail ballot requests and ballots to the clerk’s office daily, Hethcoat said. The Douglas County’s elections office determines whether inmates are eligible to vote.
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More on registration and advance voting
Photo ID is required to register to vote and to vote in person. Gov. Laura Kelly has issued executive orders so that people whose ID cards expired after March 12, 2020, and who have been unable to renew them because of the coronavirus pandemic may use expired IDs to vote.
Teens who will turn 18 in between the registration deadline and the general election may vote, including those born on Nov. 3, 2002.
Advance ballots will be sent out beginning Wednesday, Oct. 14, and voters can request a mail ballot through Oct. 27. Voters can check their registration and request ballots online through ksvotes.org.
Applications for advance ballots are also available on the county’s website or at sos.ks.gov; click “Elections,” then “Voter Information,” and scroll down to “Advance voting – By mail.” The applications can be emailed to email@example.com, mailed to the clerk’s office or faxed to 785-832-5192.
Completed advance ballots can be mailed back or dropped off in secured ballot boxes, which have locations all over Lawrence, including outside the Douglas County Courthouse at 1100 Massachusetts St. A full list of dropbox locations is available at douglascountyelections.com.
In-person early voting begins Oct. 14. Voting sites available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 14-16, and Monday through Saturday, Oct. 19-24, include the Douglas County Clerk’s Office, 1100 Massachusetts St.; Flory Meeting Hall at the fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St.; and the South Iowa Satellite Office, 2329 Iowa St.
On Saturday, Oct. 24 and 31, in-person voting will be available at the Baldwin City Fire Station, Eudora City Hall and Lecompton Community Building in addition to the Lawrence sites.
Ballots can also be cast at the Lied Center Pavilion, 1600 Stewart Drive, from Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30.
On the last day before Election Day, Monday, Nov. 2, voting will be available from 8 a.m. to noon at the clerk’s office, fairgrounds and satellite office.
Early voting hours on each date vary, but more information is available at douglascountyelections.com or by calling the county clerk’s office at 785-832-5267. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
The Journal-World will publish more articles about who’s on the ballots for the 2020 general election in the coming weeks. See the newspaper’s coverage so far at ljworld.com/news/2020-election/.
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