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Voting in Kansas? Mind These Primary Deadlines

Photo by Stephen Koranda

Friday is the deadline for candidates in Kansas to make it official by filing with the secretary of state’s office to appear on the ballot.

That date is also an important cutoff for voters. It’s the final day people in Kansas can switch political parties before the primary election on Aug. 7.

Here are four things to know about the deadline:

Party switching

People who want to switch political parties have to do it before Friday, June 1, at noon.

This affects people who are currently registered as Republican, Democrat or Libertarian but want to vote in another party’s primary. The primaries are closed in Kansas, meaning voters have to be registered with a party to cast a ballot in that primary. The Libertarian Party does not have a primary ballot. 

Voters can register online or at many local locations, such as the county election office

Independents

The rules are different for unaffiliated voters.

Voters with no party affiliation on their registration can still choose to register with a political party after Friday. They can even affiliate with a party on Election Day and then vote in the primary. The deadline this week only affects people who are switching political parties.

What can wait

People who only need to change their address or are registering for the first time in Kansas have a later deadline.

The deadline to register for the first time, or change addresses without switching political parties, is July 17. 

First-time registration

Kansas voter registration rules still apply to people registering to vote for the first time, sort of.

Kansas has a requirement that people registering to vote for the first time in the state prove their U.S. citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate. However, court rulings in lawsuits over the policies mean those rules aren’t currently enforced for people registering to vote with the federal form. The proof-of-citizenship rules are still being enforced when people register to vote with the state form.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @kprkoranda. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

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