A Wichita Beacon 2022 Kansas General Election Coverage logo over a stack of “I voted” stickers
The Wichita Beacon has your Kansas General Election Toolkit ready for Nov. 8. Here’s everything you need to know in one place about how to vote and who is running.

Election Day is Nov. 8. The Wichita Beacon will get answers to your questions. Visit the Kansas Voter Help Desk.  

The Wichita Beacon has your Kansas General Election Toolkit ready for Nov. 8. Here’s everything you need to know in one place about how to vote, who is running and how to make sense of justice retention questions, constitutional amendments and the school board ballot initiative.

On Nov. 8, Wichita voters cast ballots on a wide range of federal, state and local candidates, two proposed state constitutional amendments, and one ballot initiative that could change how Wichita school board members are elected. That’s a lot of civic responsibility. 

To make it easier, The Wichita Beacon has produced this Kansas General Election Toolkit to provide quick answers to basic questions and links to more in-depth information, when that’s what you are looking for. 

And if you have any questions not answered here, we are standing by to answer those. Simply get in touch via the Kansas Voter Help Desk.

When is the deadline to register to vote in Kansas for the general election? What do I need and where do I go?

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 Kansas general election is Oct. 18. You need a driver’s license or other photo ID. You may register online or use a paper form submitted to the local county election board.

For detailed information regarding special circumstances including name changes and disability accommodations, go here. For detailed information on registration issues faced by transgender voters, go here. For detailed information about voter registration in Spanish, go here.

When and where do I vote on Election Day? What if I want to vote in advance?

The Kansas general election day is Nov. 8. You may check your registration status and identify your Election Day polling location at the Kansas Voter View website

There are two ways to vote in advance: by mail and by going in person to an early voting location. You must request an advance mail ballot by Nov. 1. The process is detailed on the Sedgwick County election website. If you want to be sure your advance ballot has been counted, you can check that here

Early voting begins on Oct. 24 and continues through Nov. 5. There are 17 early voting locations in Sedgwick County. A list of early in-person voting locations and times is available here.

What races are on the ballot statewide?

At the national level, all Kansans will choose one member in the U.S. Senate and one in the U.S. House. At the state level, all Kansans will choose a governor and lieutenant governor team, an attorney general, a secretary of state, a state treasurer and a state insurance commissioner. Kansas voters will also each choose a state representative. State senators are not on the ballot this year.

For detailed information about what each office does, who is running and how to learn more about each candidate, see our story, “How to research federal, state and local candidates on the November ballot in Wichita.”

What races are on the ballot locally?

Sedgwick County voters in Districts 1, 4 and 5 will vote on county commissioners. Three incumbents are up for reelection. To learn more about positions held by the candidates, click on your District:

District 1 covers the northeastern corner of Sedgwick County, including downtown and much of Wichita north of Douglas and east of Oliver. The district also takes in Eastborough, Kechi and Bel Aire. 

District 4 includes central Wichita bounded roughly by Douglas to the south, Oliver to the east and West to the west, then north taking in Park City and Valley Center. The district also extends west, taking in Maize.

District 5 includes the southeast part of Wichita, bounded roughly on the north by Kellogg and the Arkansas River to the west. The district extends south, taking in neighboring cities Derby and Mulvane.

For detailed information about what each office does, who is running and how to learn more about each candidate, see our story, “How to research federal, state and local candidates on the November ballot in Wichita.”

Can I see what my own ballot will look like?

Registered voters can preview your own ballot by visiting the Kansas VoterView website and entering your name and birthdate. Scroll to the bottom to call up a .pdf image of your sample ballot. 

My ballot asks if I want to retain several Kansas Supreme Court justices. What does it mean to vote to retain judges? Are judges ever not retained?

Kansas Supreme Court justice nominees are first screened by an independent commission and then selected by the governor. After each six-year term, the public votes whether to retain each justice. A justice who fails to get a simple majority of “yes to retain” votes would be removed from the bench and replaced. In more than 60 years, this has never happened.

For detailed information about the Kansas Supreme Court justices on the Nov. 8 ballot, see our story, “Kansas Supreme Court election: What’s at stake?”

What about these appellate and district judges? Why do I vote on judges?

As with Kansas Supreme Court justices, appellate and district judges are accountable to voters – but how and when  depends on where they live. In Sedgwick County, all voters will vote on whether to keep each of seven appellate judges up for a retention vote. Sedgwick County voters will also vote on 11 judges in Judicial District 18. These lower-level trial judges are the ones you are most likely to encounter. 

For detailed information about how appellate and judges are selected and retained, please see our story, Who are the Kansas judges on the November ballot”?

What are these amendments, HCR 5014 and HCR 5022?

The Kansas Legislature placed two amendments on the Nov. 8 ballot. The first, HCR 5014, seeks to strip regulatory authority from the governor’s office, allowing the Legislature to seize power from the executive branch to block rules and regulations it doesn’t like. The second, HCR 5022, would limit removal of a county sheriff to a recall election or by action of the attorney general.

To read these amendments, visit the Kansas secretary of state website. For a detailed explanation, please see our story, “Changes to checks and balances: What these constitutional amendments could mean for Kansas.”

What is this Wichita school board ballot initiative about?

Discussions this summer about redrawing district lines affecting representation on the Wichita USD 259 school board resurfaced a 28-year-old concern that electing each district’s school board member by citywide vote unfairly impacts minority representation. Leaders from Wichita’s Black community asked the school board to place on the Nov. 8 ballot an initiative to change the procedure, allowing district residents only to elect their district representatives. (A single at-large member would still be elected citywide.) The board agreed in a 4-3 vote. 

For a detailed explanation, please see our story, “What you need to know about the school board measure on the November ballot.”

How can I learn more about Wichita candidates?

The Beacon has provided a list of candidates on the ballot in Wichita with links to each candidate’s campaign websites and their Ballotpedia entries. 

Who pays for Kansas political ads?

Federal, state and local candidates are required by law to publicly disclose donations received and money spent by their campaigns. So are political committees trying to influence elections. The Federal Election Commission hosts an online database with federal campaign finance information reported by U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidates. Campaign finance information about candidates for Kansas governor, attorney general, other statewide offices and state lawmakers is reported to and disclosed by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. Information about county and city-level campaigns can be found on the Sedgwick County Election Commission campaign finance disclosure website.

For an in-depth explanation of campaign finance laws, what information is available and how to find it, please see our story, Follow the money: Here’s how to research Kansas campaign finance reports.

What do I do if someone tries to prevent me from voting on Election Day?

The League of Women Voters and the ACLU of Kansas direct people who experience voting interference to these hotlines: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683); 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español, 888-839-8682); 1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance, 888-274-8683) or 1-844-YALLA-US (Arabic, 844-925-5287). The ACLU will intercede on voters’ behalf. 

What if I am sick on Election Day and still want to vote?

According to the Sedgwick County Election Office, curbside voting is supposed to be available on Election Day for voters who call ahead to their polling locations. The election office also stated that the easiest way to vote while sick or immunocompromised is to have a friend pick up your ballot and drop it back off at your polling location before 7 p.m. They recommend calling their office at 316-660-7100 to get more details on how the process works.

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