More Kansans voting early or by mail for August primary amid virus outbreak

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FILE – In this May 27, 2020 file photo, a worker processes mail-in ballots at the Bucks County Board of Elections office prior to the primary election in Doylestown, Pa. Deep-pocketed and often anonymous donors are pouring over $100 million into an intensifying dispute about whether it should be easier to vote by mail, a fight that could determine President Donald Trump’s fate in the November election. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is seeing an increase in advance voting for the Aug. 4 primary amid the coronavirus outbreak.

As of Tuesday, the number of ballots voters returned by mail is almost six times more than the ballots returned in 2016, the last presidential election year, according to data collected by the Associated Press.

The number of ballots returned by mail is also six times more than the ballots returned in the 2018 US midterm elections, the same data shows. The number of advance ballots cast in person is slightly ahead of those cast in 2016.

Kansas is one of 30 states that don’t require a voter to have a reason to vote absentee, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of Tuesday, nearly 113,000 mail ballots had been returned, and nearly 18,500 people had cast absentee votes in person.

Sedgwick County and Douglas County mailed both primary and general election ballot applications to all registered voters.

Primary election ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 4 to be counted.

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