This is a list of the frequently asked questions we have been getting about voting by mail in Kansas. We've done our best to answer them accurately and clearly, but if you have more questions, please email us at [email protected].
These questions were last updated on October 6, 2020.
Will I automatically receive a mail-in ballot this year?
No! While there has been a lot of talk in 2020 about voting by mail, you must fill out an application to request a mail-in-ballot in Kansas. And, you have to fill out an application for every election. So, even if you received a ballot for the August primary, you still need to fill out an application to receive one for November.
The exception is if you’ve previously signed up to receive a permanent advance ballot. This is an option for voters who have a disability that prevents them from easily getting to and from a polling place. If you think you might be eligible, go ahead and sign up at KSVotes.org.
Several counties in the state mailed advance ballot applications to all their registered voters this year, knowing that a lot of people would be nervous about voting in a pandemic. This is new for most counties. If you’re curious whether your county was one of them, you can check out our list here. If your county is not going to mail an application directly to you this year, fill out an application at KSVotes.org. It's online and only takes a few minutes!
REQUESTING A MAIL-IN BALLOT
How do I apply for a mail-in ballot, and when will it get here already?!
You can request a mail-in ballot any time from today until to one week before the election, which is October 27. But don't wait that long! Our election offices are overwhelmed this year, so the sooner the better. We recommend using KSVotes.org to fill out the application. It's all online and only takes a few minutes! Even if you do that tomorrow the actual ballots won't be mailed until the middle of October.
The Voter to Voter project has an online dashboard that will show you which of your friends have requested to vote by mail, and whether they’ve turned their ballots back in. If you’re interested in joining our effort and making sure your friends vote, sign up today at votertovoter.org.
Do I need to have an ID to request a ballot?
When you fill out an application to vote by mail you’ll be asked for your Kansas driver’s license number, which can be cross checked against DMV records for validity. If you’re choosing to vote by mail and you don’t have a Kansas driver’s license, you’ll need to scan or take a picture of another form of photo ID and include it with your application or email it to your county election official (or Reply All to the confirmation you get from ksvotes.org, and attach a photo).
Can I check to see if I've requested a mail-in ballot?
Yes, sort of. That information is provided by the Office of the Kansas Secretary of State, but they won't update the data until sometime towards the end of September, so the data will not be reliable until then. When that data is uploaded, you can find out at https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/voterview or on your Voter to Voter dashboard. (Don't know about Voter to Voter? Learn more at votertovoter.org)
What if I requested a ballot, but didn’t get it?
First, remember that you will not receive a ballot in the mail unless you've submitted an application request (which you can do up until October 27). If your family and friends are receiving their ballots and you haven't yet:
1. Submit a mail-in ballot application
2. If you can’t remember whether you filled out an application, or you want to make sure it’s been accepted, go to https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/voterview. By entering your name and date of birth, you can check your application status. (The data won't be updated until the end of September, though, so check closer to then.)
3. If it is at least a week before election day, you can call the county election office to replace your mail-in-ballot.
4. Or, you can always vote in person at your early voting site or your polling place on Election Day. These locations will be listed at KSBallot.org by October 14 at the latest.
MAILING YOUR BALLOT
How many stamps do I need?!
That’s a good question! The amount of postage required is a county-level decision so the number of stamps you’ll need will depend on where you live in Kansas. It’s likely that the amount will be listed on the envelope where you would normally put a stamp, so check there. We also called all 105 counties and made a spreadsheet for you. If you haven’t bought a stamp since 1998, don’t worry, it’s really easy to do at stamps.com. You can print out postage from that site and affix it to your ballot.
Any other tricky steps?
You need to sign your envelope! There’s a spot on the back to sign and a lot of people miss it. Also if someone else is helping you fill out your ballot, or delivering it on your behalf, they also need to sign the back.
OTHER WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR MAIL-IN BALLOT
Can I drop my ballot off somewhere?
Sure! There are plenty of options if you'd prefer not to mail in your ballot:
-You can drop off your mail-in ballot at any polling site in your county on Election Day.
-You could also drop off your ballot at any early voting location in your county, which includes your county election or clerk’s office.
-You can drop your ballot in a designated drop box (available in most counties).
All those early voting sites and drop box locations will be listed at KSBallot.org by October 14.
Can I drop off someone else's ballot?!
You CAN drop off ballots for other people, but the tricky part is you have to sign the back of the envelope before they seal it!
Can I still vote if I’ve lost my ballot?
Yes! You can go to an early voting site, your polling place on Election Day, or if it’s at least a week before the election you can call the county election office and ask for a replacement mail ballot. You will have to vote a provisional ballot, but when the election office confirms that you didn’t return your original mail ballot they will count your provisional ballot.
If I requested a mail-in ballot, can I still vote in person?
Sure. You need to bring your advance ballot with you to the polling place, or the early voting site, and you should expect that you won’t get to vote on one of the regular voting machines. The poll workers have a list of everyone who requested a ballot, so they will be looking for you to bring yours. You’ll need to fill out your mail-in ballot and drop it in their box, or fill out a provisional ballot there.
The mail-in ballot you received is your ballot, so voting any other way than with that ballot will be provisional.
If I have to vote a provisional ballot, will it get counted?
Yes! The provisional ballot system is there to make sure your vote gets counted if something untoward happens. It protects your right to vote, while also protecting the integrity of our elections. Those are both good things! If you're nervous about having to vote a provisional ballot, make sure you get your mail-in ballot sent back as soon as possible, or drop it off somewhere! Early voting sites and drop box locations will be listed at KSBallot.org by October 14.
Do I need a Photo ID to Vote?
Yes - every time you vote (except in local all-mail elections) you need an acceptable government issued photo ID. If you have a Kansas driver’s license, your driver’s license number on the mail ballot application will fulfill this requirement.
FILLING IN YOUR BALLOT
Who are these candidates, and which ones do I vote for?!
We can’t tell you who to vote for, but we are trying to make it easier for you to find information about who and what is on your ballot. Put in your address at KSBallot.org to see the races on your ballot find links to candidates’ social media pages and websites. Your early voting locations are also in there and you can sign up for reminders.