Voter turnout expected to increase as over 300,000 Kansans projected to vote early in August primary

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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. — Voter turnout in Kansas is expected to increase, according to numbers released Friday by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab’s office predicts 28% of registered voters in the state will participate in the Aug. 4 primary, up from 27% in 2018.

The main difference in the two elections is the impact COVID-19 will have on the number of mail-in ballots.

As of Friday, July 31, there have been 314,788 advance by mail ballots sent to Kansas voters compared to 51,211 during the same time in 2018 and 53,387 in 2016.

To date, 159,012 advance by mail ballots have been returned to local elections offices, up from 26,917 in 2018 and 26,795 in 2016 respectively.

Party affiliation of the returned ballots include 81,208 democrats, 77,372 republicans, 9 libertarians and 423 unaffiliated.

If trends continue, Schwab’s office estimates 300,000 ballots will be cast through advance voting during the primary election.

“Our priority has been and will continue to be to maintain balance in protecting the health and safety of Kansas voters and election workers while also ensuring the security of Kansas elections,” Schwab said in a statement. “If you feel safe going to the grocery store. you should feel safe to vote.”

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