Kansas Democrats voting by mail only in presidential primary

photo by: Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Vice President Joe Biden, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Updated at 3:40 p.m. Monday

TOPEKA — Kansas Democrats have scrapped plans for polling sites for their May 2 presidential primary and are having the election entirely with mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

State Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt said Monday that polling sites are “going to be too risky” and some were at public schools and community colleges that have closed. The party on Monday began mailing ballots to almost 390,000 people registered as Democrats as of early March. The figure could top 400,000.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Kansas has more than tripled in less than than week, with over 360 reported by the state health department as of Monday afternoon, along with nine COVID-19-related deaths reported by state and local officials.

Confirmed cases have spread from the state’s portion of the Kansas City area to 35 of its 105 counties.

Hiatt said she’s hoping the switch to an entirely mail-ballot election won’t hurt turnout and believes participation will be driven more by whether Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to challenge former Vice President Joe Biden.

More coverage: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the pandemic continues, the Journal-World will be making coverage of COVID-19 available outside of the paywall on LJWorld.com.

Find all coverage of city, county and state responses to the virus at: ljworld.com/coronavirus/

Please consider subscribing to support the local journalists who are helping to inform our community: ljworld.com/subscribe/


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.