KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Whether you’re a first-time voter or a seasoned pro, there’s a lot of information to make sure you’re up-to-date before the primary election on Aug. 2.

If you’re heading to the polls in Kansas, check out FOX4’s Primary Election Day guide before you go to make sure you’re prepared.

How to preview your ballot

Make sure you’re familiar with all races and questions on your ballot before you head to the polls.

In Kansas, to find your sample ballot, visit the Secretary of State’s VoterView website and check your registration.

There, the site will also provide you with your ballot based on your political party for the upcoming election. If you are registered as an Independent or other third party in Kansas and want to vote in the primary, you will have to choose either a Republican or Democrat ballot.

You can even fill out and take your sample ballot with you to your polling place to help as you fill out the official ballot.

Advance voting

Every Kansas county is required to all allow residents to cast their ballot ahead of time in person or by mail. Kansas residents also don’t need an excuse for advance voting.

Under state law, all counties must offer in-person advance voting no later than July 26. The deadline for in-person advance voting to wrap up is noon Aug. 1, the day before Election Day.

Locations where you can go to voting early in person will vary depending on county.

If you choose to vote by mail in Kansas, you’ll have to apply to have a ballot sent to you. You’ll be asked to include your driver’s license number or a copy of your photo ID.

For the primary election, the deadline to apply for an advance ballot by mail is July 26. Ballots have to be postmarked on or before Election Day and received at your county’s election office by the end of business on the Friday after the election, Aug. 5.

Many counties will also let voters return their advance ballot to a drop box, election office or voting location. This varies by county, so check with your local election authority for more details.

How to find your polling location

Election officials are urging voters to double check their polling place before heading off to vote.

In the Sunflower State, voters can visit the Kansas Secretary of State’s VoterView website to search for their polling place. Just enter your address, and the site will provide your location and its hours.

When do polls open and close?

In Kansas, polls have to be open by 7 a.m. and can close at 7 p.m., but state law allows counties to open as early as 6 a.m. and close as late as 8 p.m. if they want. Polling locations must be open for at least 12 consecutive hours. If you need to vote early or late, check the website for your county’s election board.

As long as you are in line by the time poll locations close — for example, 7 p.m. — you are legally allowed to vote. Don’t get out of line. But if you arrive after they close, you will not be allowed to cast your ballot.

What to bring to vote

You’ll need some form of identification like a driver’s license, passport or even a college ID. But it’s important to know what qualifies as voter identification in Kansas.

In Kansas, acceptable forms of identification must include a photo. Here are the acceptable IDs for registered voters, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office:

  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by Kansas or another state
  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Military ID
  • ID card issued by a Native American tribe
  • Employee badge or ID issued by a government office
  • Student ID card from an accredited postsecondary education institution in Kansas
  • Concealed carry license issued by Kansas or another state
  • Public assistance ID card issued by a government office

What to do and not to do

After you’ve waited in line and shown the election worker your ID, it’s time to head to a voting booth and cast your vote. You’ll either get a paper ballot, or in many counties these days, you can fill out your ballot on an electronic voting machine.

If you fill out a paper ballot, make sure to completely fill in the circle next to the candidate or issue your selecting. No checkmarks or X’s.

As you’re filling out your ballot, you might be filled with a sense of pride and want the social media world to know. But depending on what state you live in, it’s not always legal to take a picture in the voting booth.

In Missouri, you can’t share your ballot after it’s been marked — it’s actually a misdemeanor. So the Secretary of State strongly discourages taking a photo of yourself voting. Taking a picture inside or outside the polling place is fine though, as long as you’re not disrupting anyone else’s privacy.

Kansas, on the other hand, doesn’t have any laws preventing photos at polling places or in voting booths.

Yes or no? What Kansas’ abortion amendment means

“Vote yes” and “Vote no” signs are lining neighborhood streets in Kansas, as people get ready to vote on the constitutional amendment on abortion Aug. 2.

For some, there’s confusion over what the “yes” and “no” means.

Political analyst Bob Beatty said a “Vote Yes” is not an automatic ban on abortion, but it would leave the future of abortion rights in state lawmakers’ hands. 

“The entire issue would go to the Legislature,” Beatty said. “It would be out of the hands of the state supreme court, and whatever the Legislature wanted to do, they could do.”

Currently, the state constitution recognizes the right to an abortion. 

Beatty said if the amendment passes, then lawmakers could decide to do nothing, which would leave the state constitution intact. However, he said it’s likely that they could pass legislation virtually banning abortion in the state. 

A “no” vote will mean that the state constitution will stay the same and continue to recognize the right to an abortion. It could also open the door for people from other states with abortion bans to come to Kansas.

Voters can vote on the amendment regardless of their party affiliation.

Who’s running for Kansas governor, lieutenant governor?

Gov. Laura Kelly is hoping to earn another term as Kansas’ top state official, but she’ll face some tough competition before voters decide this fall.

Multiple outlets have deemed Kansas’ gubernatorial race a toss-up, considering a Democrat is hoping to defend her seat in a traditionally red state after a turbulent COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the focus for the governor’s race has been on November, but first, Kansas residents will be asked to cast their votes in the August primary.

Republican candidates:

Democratic candidates:

Kelly and Toland will face Karnowski, a tax preparer from Emmett, and his running mate Franco.

On the Republican side, Attorney General Derek Schmidt is vying for the state’s top seat as well. He’s already been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Schmidt’s running mate is Katie Sawyer, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall and former journalist. If elected in November, the 38-year-old Sawyer would be the youngest Republican lieutenant governor currently serving in the U.S. and only the second woman to serve in the position in Kansas.

In the primary, Schmidt and Sawyer will face frequent candidate Briggs and Berland, both of Kincaid.

The Iola Register reports Briggs has been arrested three times this summer. In June, he was charged with making threats against a law enforcement officer in Allen County. Most recently, he was accused of disabling a tracking device and traveling to Missouri, where he was arrested.

Other statewide races

Kansas residents will also cast their vote in a number of other high-level races.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is up for reelection this year. He’ll face Joan Farr in the Republican primary. But the real question: Who will Democrats advance to the general election? Six candidates — Mark Holland, Michael Soetaert, Mike Andra, Patrick Wiesner, Paul Buskirk and Robert Klingenberg — are all vying for Kansans’ votes.

Secretary of State

Four candidates are vying to be Kansas’ top election official. Incumbent Secretary of State Scott Schwab will face off against Republican challenger Mike Brown.

One of the biggest differences between the two men seems to be whether they think there were voter irregularities in the 2020 election. Brown said there were while Schwab said there were not.

The winner of the Republican primary is set to face Democrat Jeanna Repass and Libertarian Cullene Lang for the Kansas secretary of state position in November. Repass and Cullene are running unopposed.

Attorney General

Meanwhile, Kris Kobach is looking for a comeback after losing two other statewide races in the past four years. With Schmidt vying for the governor’s office, Kobach is now aiming for the attorney general’s seat.

His Republican challengers are former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi and state Sen. Kellie Warren.

So far, the primary race has been mostly about the candidates’ backgrounds, their personal styles and whether they have the courtroom chops to win big lawsuits. But Warren, Mattivi and their supporters want to make the race about electability in November, too.

Whoever GOP voters select will face Democratic candidate Chris Mann, an attorney, former police officer and former local prosecutor.

Kansas 3rd District

Although it’s not a statewide race, Kansas’ 3rd district is the only contested congressional race in the primary. With an uncontested Democratic primary, Congresswoman Sharice Davids will advance to the general election, but Republican voters will decide who faces her.

Amanda Adkins is once again hoping to go head-to-head with Davids this fall, but first she’ll face Army veteran John McCaughrean in the primary.

FOX4 will share Missouri and Kansas primary election results after polls close Aug. 2 on air and on fox4kc.com.

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