Mail-in ballot requests increase for election

Meghan Flynn
Election workers Beth Moser, right, and Gina Parr sign in local residents to be able to cast their ballots in August during the primary election at a voting site in the Finney County Fairgrounds 4-H building.

Finney County is seeing a high volume of people registering to vote for the Nov. 3 General Election.

Dori Munyan, Finney County clerk, reported that 20,623 people have registered to vote as of Sept. 29.

“We are seeing a high volume of registrations, whether those are updates or new registrations,” she said.

They’re also seeing a big increase for mail-in ballots/absentee ballots this year, Munyan said.

Right now there have been about 1,500 requests for mail-in ballots, she said. In the 2018 General Election, there were 430 requests and for this year’s primary there were about 330 requests.

Oct. 13 is the deadline to register to vote and Oct. 27 is the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot.

Munyan said the reason for the Oct. 27 deadline is to ensure the ballots get to the voter on time so they can reply on time.

“When those ballots are returned they do have to be postmarked by Election Day and received by the Friday after Election Day in my office,” she said.

The first mail-out of advance ballots is Oct. 14.

In-person advance voting will begin at the Finney County Administrative Center on Oct. 15 and will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

On Oct. 22 and 27, the building will be open until 7 p.m. for early voting and will also be open for early voting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

On the ballot are President and Vice President, United States Senate, U.S. House of Representatives District 1, Kansas Senate District 39, Kansas House of Representatives for District 117, District 122 and District 123.

County offices on the ballot are: County Commissioner for Districts 2 and 3, County Clerk, County Treasurer, Register of Deeds, County Attorney, County Sheriff and Treasurer and Trustee for each of Finney County’s seven township offices.

Additionally, there are some judicial positions subject to retention questions on the ballot, Munyan said. They include Kansas Supreme Court justices and five court of appeals judges.

Munyan said the county is not hurting for election workers. Gov. Laura Kelly has made some offers to state workers, so the county has had a lot of outreach.

“The Republican Committee has been good about pushing information, as well as some of our more active poll workers have been recruiting for us, so we've got a pretty extensive list at this point,” she said.

If anyone wants to volunteer as an election worker, they are welcome, Munyan said. Work on Election Day is 13 to 14 hours, but they also have positions to fill for a number of boards, including early voting board, mail board and an audit board and a provisional ballot board.