Voting: How it’s Done

First time voter? Use this step-by-step guide.

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Crusader

First time voters might be nervous about casting that first-ever ballot. Don't worry, the process is easier than you might think.

Krisi Anderson, Reporter

Voting season is just around the corner. As a student at a college, this may be the first time you’re voting. Need some help on how to do so? Here’s a “How to” for the processes you need to go through.

First, you need to register to vote. The last day to register is Oct. 13. The qualifications to register to vote are: must be 18 years of age or older, a United States Citizen and no felonies on your record. In Kansas, you are allowed to register to vote when you are 17 if you will be 18 on the day of elections. 

Next, there are three ways that you can vote. The first one is in-person on election day, Nov. 3. This doesn’t take any extra paperwork. Go to your assigned polling place (for those from Liberal it’s the activity centre) on election day from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

To find your assigned polling place you can go to Voter View: Kansas Secretary of State. All you do is go to this website and enter the name you registered under and your birthdate. On this website, you can view your registration information, polling place and voting history. You can also look at a sample ballot. 

Another way you may vote is advanced in-person. You do not have to fill out a separate form when you register. This will take place for two weeks prior to election day. For those registered in Liberal, it will open at the Seward County Administration Office on Oct. 19 from 8 a.m. and at noon on Nov. 2. 

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Is this your first time voting?
Is this your first time voting?
Is this your first time voting?

The last one is Advanced vote-by-mail. This is not as sketchy as people think. To receive an advanced ballot by mail, you must fill out a separate form along with your registration. You can take both forms to the county clerk, mail it to them or email it to [email protected] or [email protected]

The application must include a Kansas driver’s license number or non-driver’s identification number. All advanced voting ballots are mailed from the Election Office by Oct. 25. Ensure that once you have it you fill it out and send it back as soon as possible. The mailing system may be slow, so sending back sooner is better than later. 

Now that you have registered and know where you are voting let’s get into the process of when you vote. On Election day and in-person advanced, you will need to have a government-issued photo ID. This ID should include either a Driver’s License, non-drivers ID, Military ID, Student ID or a passport. If you do bring a passport to bring another form of photographic identification in case the photo on your passport is very old. If you work at the hospital you may also bring your ID badge as hospitals are government-run. 

Give the worker your ID and they will ask for your name and address. Then you will be given a ballot or taken to an electronic ballot station. Fill out the ballot. If you don’t like your options, you don’t have to answer a question. If you would like to view the ballot beforehand you may go to Voter View: Kansas Secretary of StateVoter and scroll through the ballot for the year. This way you can be prepared and not panic as you fill out the ballot.  Cast your ballot once you are done and you’re free to go. Congratulations! You did it. Don’t forget your sticker. 

After that, the ballots are counted and there are newly elected officials.

If you have any questions you can contact Stacia Long at the Election Office. You can call at 620-626-3355 or email [email protected].