Governor Laura Kelly, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure every eligible Kansan has a meaningful opportunity to get registered to vote or update their voter registration.
“As we enter the homestretch of the 2020 election, it is vital that every eligible voter has a chance to register to vote and participate in our democracy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “My administration has taken several steps to improve our outreach to Kansans – especially during this pandemic – and these efforts are already bearing fruit.”
DCF and KDHE began sending voter registration applications to Kansas residents entitled to agency-provided voter registration opportunities, one of the state’s recent efforts to ensure compliance with federal law.
Last November, Demos, Loud Light, the ACLU, and the ACLU of Kansas completed an investigation of compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) in Kansas and notified Governor Kelly and other state officials of areas to improve to ensure the state’s compliance with the NVRA. DCF and KDHE have been working on meaningful improvements to agency-provided voter registration opportunities and assistance to clients filling out voter registration applications.
Among other improvements, DCF and KDHE upgraded and will continue to improve their online application portals to provide their clients with better assistance with voter registration. Although some of the technology upgrades will take time to implement, DCF and KDHE have mailed voter registration applications to clients to ensure that they receive opportunities to register to vote before the November General Election.
This process has already provided many Kansas residents with an opportunity to register to vote or update their registration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March and September 2020, DCF mailed voter registration applications to nearly 151,00 clients. KDHE will send voter registration applications to 127,000 client households in September.
“As we weather this pandemic, with many individuals quarantined at home and practicing social distancing, it is important we provide this service to Kansans,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I am committed to making sure eligible Kansas voters are not left behind.”
Governor Kelly encourages all eligible Kansas residents to register to vote. Kansans who receive a voter registration application in the mail are encouraged to complete the application to register to vote (or update an existing registration) as quickly as possible to ensure it reaches their county’s election office ahead of the October 13 deadline to register. Eligible Kansans may also register to vote online at https://www.kdor.ks.gov/apps/voterreg/default.aspx; a Kansas driver’s license or state identification card are required to register to vote on the Kansas registration page. Eligible Kansans can also register in minutes at KSVotes.org. To vote in the General Presidential Election this year, Kansas residents must be registered to vote by October 13, 2020.
The Governor also encourages every registered voter to vote by mail. And any registered voter in Kansas can. The application for a mail-in ballot can be found at https://www.kssos.org/forms/elections/AV1.pdf.
Applications for a mail ballot must be returned by October 27, 2020, to your county election official. Ballots will be mailed to those who apply beginning on October 14, 2020. All ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3 and received in the county election office by the close of business on November 6.