Election officials in Kansas prepare for big jump in turnout for August primaries
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansans will head to the polls in a little more than a month for the primary election, and for many, the stakes are high. Voter registration across the state and in Sedgwick County continues to increase and local officials say this year’s turnout could be much higher than normal.
At the heart of the upcoming election is voters’ decision whether the right to an abortion is protected by the Kansas constitution. In addition to being an issue many Kansans on both sides feel passionately about, the “Value Them Both Amendment just being on the ballot allows more people to participate in the Aug. 2 election.
While Republicans and Democrats hold their primaries Aug. 2, unaffiliated voters and those registered with a third party will also get their chance to be heard on the abortion rights issue in Kansas.
“That constitutional amendment question will also be available on a non-partisan ballot, so unaffiliated voters, independent voters, libertarian voters will get a chance to vote on that ballot,” Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Angel Caudillo said.
Primary elections usually do not see huge turnouts in Kansas. The Secretary of State’s Office said the last primary election drew about 34 percent. And while projections can’t be made officially until registration ends, local election offices are busy preparing for nearly double the prior primary vote.
“We are testing, we are packing supplies, we’re processing voter registrations and accepting advanced mail ballot applications and getting ready to train our election workers,” Caudillo said.
Caudillo said they’re expecting about 50 percent voter turnout for the August primary election but are preparing for 65 percent. To make sure the Aug. 2 primaries run smoothly, Sedgwick County is looking for more poll workers.
If you’d like to participate in the Aug. 2 primary election, you have until July 12 to get that done. If you’d like to vote early or by mail, there are instructions on how to request your ballot online.
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