‘Tis the season to exercise one’s right to vote! Planeta Venus wrote a nonpartisan voter’s guide to help registered voters navigate their way through primary day — Tuesday, August 1.
For those wanting to get ahead: advance voting is currently open!
All county voters can vote at the Sedgwick County Election Office on 510 N Main, #101, Wichita, KS 67203. You can vote Friday, July 28 until 5:00pm or Monday, July 31 until 12:00 noon.
Early Vote centers are also available at the following locations until 7:00pm Friday, July 31 and 9:00am - 4:00pm Saturday, July 29. All voters can vote at any of these locations.
What’s on my ballot?
There are three vacancies on USD259’s school board. All Sedgwick County voters residing within school district boundaries will decide on who becomes the next at-large board member. Additionally, South Wichita residents (District 3 and 4) will vote for their direct school board representative.
Wichita voters are also deciding which two of the nine mayoral candidates will proceed to November’s general election.
What can I expect at the polls?
According to the Kansas Secretary of State:
You will need to state your legal name and show photo ID
Acceptable IDs: driver’s license, nondriver’s identification card, U.S. passport, public assistance identification card, and others
State your address
Sign a poll book
You will receive a ballot and either proceed to a voting booth or electronic voting machine
Review your ballot to make sure it’s complete and accurate
Submit your ballot
Leave with a “I Voted!” sticker
Note: all voters who are in line when polling locations close are allowed to vote. Stay in line!
My English is limited. Can I bring someone to help me?
Yes! You can bring someone to be your translator at a polling place. According to Laura Rainwater, the Sedgwick County Election Commissioner, many voters bring assistance to the polls if they’re elderly, have a disability or speak limited English.”
“They can help you vote. All they have to do is sign a voter assistance form. It takes two seconds — put your name and done,” Rainwater said in an interview with Planeta Venus. “And if you see someone at the polling place that isn’t fully fluent in English and needs help, you can help them out if (poll workers) give you permission.”
What other resources are available to me?
Go to myvoteinfo.voteks.org to see a sample ballot. You can also visit ksboleta.org to verify your voter’s registration, read up on all mayoral and school board candidates or to create a voting plan for August 1.
KMUW asked all mayoral candidates about their aspirations if elected. Read it here. Brandon Whipple (incumbent mayor), Lily Wu, Bryan Frye and Celeste Racette also have campaign websites to browse. However, their websites do not have Spanish translations.
For the school board races: The Wichita Eagle also has all of the candidates bios and campaign messaging on its website. Not available in Spanish.
What if I need extra help or see something weird at my polling place?
Sometimes issues can arise at polling locations, such as voter intimidation, long lines or lack of access for people with limited English or with a disability. If your gut tells you something is off or concerning, you can reach us directly via Facebook or Subtext (text 316-348-3835).
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas also has an Election Protection Hotline: 888-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).