SECRETARY OF STATE PROVIDES UPDATE AMID COVID-19 OUTBREAK
Monday, March 23, 2020
TOPEKA – Secretary of State Scott Schwab today provided an update on the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the 2020 elections.
“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation that requires us to evaluate all scenarios for the upcoming elections,” said Secretary of State Scott Schwab. “Although we are moving forward as planned, we will continue to communicate with federal, state and local officials and respond accordingly.”
There are a handful of counties holding special elections this spring. Vendors have provided sanitation best practices to Kansas counties to ensure election equipment is properly sanitized. For county elections already underway, they will proceed as required by law. For county elections not yet started, the local governing body will determine how to proceed.
At this time, there are no plans to delay the Kansas Primary Election scheduled for Tuesday, August 4. Any changes to the November 3, General Election would come from Congress as it is a national election. Kansas voters have multiple options to cast their ballot – advance in-person voting, election day in-person voting and advance mail ballot voting. Since 1996, advance voting by mail has been offered to all Kansas voters. Each of Kansas’ 105 counties are equipped and experienced to handle increased numbers of advance mail ballots. Counties also have the ability to adjust the quantities of advance mail ballots based on demand.
Kansas voters may apply for an advance mail ballot online at: https://www.sos.ks.gov/forms//elections/AV1.pdf.
Although the candidate filing deadline is not until noon on June 1, candidates for elected office are encouraged to be proactive in filing their candidacy documents due to evolving impact of COVID-19. Candidate and election filings can be made by appointment by calling 785.296.4561.
Due to anticipated increase in demand for advance mail ballots, individuals are encouraged to register to vote and change their party affiliation prior to their respective deadlines. Voters must change their party affiliation by June 1. The deadline to register to vote is July 14. Doing so will make it easier for county election officers to process voter registration and affiliation in an accurate and timely manner.
To register to vote online visit, https://www.kdor.ks.gov/Apps/VoterReg/Default.aspx.
NOTICE: The Office of Secretary of State is closed to the public beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 to lessen the spread of COVID-19. A drop box is available onsite at Memorial Hall (120 S.W. 10th) to allow members of the public to submit business documents, including annual reports. Additional updates will be provided to the public and media as the federal and state response to COVID-19 evolves.