This year, elections at the local level include those for Wichita mayor, three City Council seats and three seats on the Wichita Public Schools’ Board of Education, with the primary election on Aug. 1 and the general election on Nov. 7. These are important positions whose decisions impact our daily lives in Wichita.
Don’t let these voting opportunities slip by without your voice being heard because you were not registered or could not physically go to your polling place. Make your plan now. Here’s what to know:
• If you moved since you voted last time—for example, from your home to an assisted living facility or to a different residence—you must re-register to vote with your new address. If you changed your name, you are also required to re-register. You can register online at KSvotes.org or obtain a paper registration form from the Sedgwick County Election Office, 510 N. Main. We encourage all assisted living facilities to have a supply of these forms available for new residents. The deadline for returning registration forms is July 11 for the primary election and Oct. 17 for the general election.
• From 2008 to 2018, the Sedgwick County Election Commission sent out a mailer with mail-in ballots to all voters in advance of the election. This service was eliminated for the 2022 mid-terms, resulting in a large drop of mail-in ballots, which led to long lines at the polls. So now it is up to you to remember to request an advance ballot if you cannot go to the polls in person and stand in line for each election. This is especially important for those who do not have transportation, are in assisted living, have a disability or will be out of town during the days the polls are open. If you have a permanent illness or disability you may request a Permanent Advance Voting Ballot by completing the bottom portion of the application so you do not have to request a mail-in ballot for each election. If your address changes you will have to submit a new form. Mail your advance ballot at least a week before Election Day or put it in a drop box no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Whether you’re 19 or 90, you are an important member of our democracy and should plan to overcome any obstacle in the way of exercising your right to vote. The League of Women Voters Wichita-Metro offers help to assisted living directors and others in obtaining registration and advance ballot forms. The LWV is a nonpartisan organization, encouraging informed and active participation of citizens in government and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, contact email@example.com or 316-573-5583.