Voting Basics & Registration

Frequently asked questions
    • Registering to vote is easy! You can register to vote for the first time or change your current registration information online at the Kansas Department of Revenue's website. You must have a valid Kansas driver's license or non-driver's identification card. If you do not have either of these documents, you should register to vote using the paper form, available to print from the Kansas Secretary of State's website or at any library branch, and drop it in the mail.


    • You can check your voter registration status at the Secretary of State's VoterView site. This site will also tell you where your polling place is and offer you a sample ballot 5 weeks before the election. Every time your name, address or party affiliation changes, you will be required to re-register.

    • The deadline to vote before any election is 21 days before the election takes place. To be eligible to vote in the next General Election on November 7, 2023, the voter registration deadline is October 17.

    • If your name has changed since the last election, you will have to re-register to be eligible to vote. You can do it online. You can also fill out a paper form, available online to print or at any library branch, and drop it in the mail. Make sure the name on the ID you provide when registering to vote matches your new legal name.


    • If your address has changed since the last election, you will have to re-register to be eligible to vote. You can do it online. You can also fill out a paper form, available online to print or at any library branch, and drop it in the mail.

    • If you move to a different county within Kansas after the registration deadline you will need to vote at the precinct assigned to your old address. At that time you will be required to complete an affidavit of former precinct residence and a new voter registration application. If you've moved to Kansas from another state and the deadline to register has passed, you may vote a president-only ballot. You are not required to have been registered at your previous address to be eligible. To request one, you must go to your county election office no later than noon the day before the general election to fill out the required forms and then you may cast your ballot at the county election office.

    • As of 2018, Kansas no longer requires people to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The previous Kansas law that required proof of citizenship in order to register to vote was ruled to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Federal Court for the State of Kansas in the case Fish vs. Kobach. The court held "that voter registration applicants need not provide proof of citizenship in order to be registered to vote, and need not provide any additional information in order to complete their voter registration applications."

      For more information on this court ruling, please visit

    • If you do not have a Kansas-issued driver's license or state ID before the election registration deadline, you will have to register to vote using the paper application and can use the last 4 digits of your social security number in place of the ID number. If the voter registration deadline has passed, you can request a provisional ballot at your polling place on election day (or during early voting), where you will be able to register to vote and will be given a paper ballot. If voting provisionally for this reason, you must provide a copy of your government issued photo ID to the election office prior to the beginning of the Official County Canvass (when the votes are counted) in person or by fax, email or postal mail.

    • It can take a few days up to a few weeks for your voter registration application to process. You can check your registration status online at the Secretary of State's VoterView site. If you have any questions about your application status, contact your county election office.

    • Voters are not required to pick a party when registering to vote and may select the unaffiliated choice.

    • Use Plural's Find Your Legislator tool to look up your legislator based on your address or current location. To find further information, go to the Kansas Legislature website and search by name under the "Legislators" tab. This page provides contact info, committees served on, and sponsored or supported bills and resolutions for your legislators.

    • If you live in Sedgwick County, you can find your local and state election districts, which include board of county commissioners, city council, unified school district, state representative and state senate, by visiting the County's website. To find which congressional district you are in, visit and enter your zip code.

    • Sample ballots are generally available 5 weeks prior to each scheduled election; you can go to the Secretary of State's VoterView site to view a preview of your specific ballot for a given election. This requires that you be a registered voter and provide your name, county and date of birth.

    • Advance Voting

      All voters are eligible to vote by mail in Kansas, also known as "advance voting." To vote by mail, you will have to request an advance ballot application from your county election office. If you live in Sedgwick County, you can call them at 316-660-7100 to request one, download a copy of the application online, or pick up an application at your nearest Wichita Public Library location. Rules and dates for advance ballots are found on the Kansas Secretary of State's website. Voters can also hand-deliver their advance ballot to the county election office or any polling location within their county by the close of polls on Election Day. Voters who are ill, disabled or not proficient in English may receive assistance in applying for and casting advance ballots. It's important to note that an application must be submitted for each election, unless a voter qualifies for Permanent Advance Voting Status. Contact your local election office for more information and to apply for permanent status.

      Overseas Voting

      Overseas voting, or federal services voting, is available for military personnel and their dependents as well as civilians and their dependents living abroad. A voter must meet the criteria established by the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). Voters voting under the UOCAVA are exempt from Kansas photo ID requirements. Overseas absentee voting is not the same as advance voting in Kansas. Registered voters who do not qualify under the federal overseas voting rules may apply for an advance ballot in the county where they are registered and will be subject to the ID requirements.

      Visit for more information.

    • The three terms can be used interchangeably. Advance or Absentee ballots are mailed to voters that request them, who can mail them back. In Sedgwick County, these ballots are mailed starting 20 days prior to Election Day, and can also be returned to the Election Office or one of the ballot drop boxes prior to 7 p.m. on Election Day. The advance ballots are used in cases when voters cannot make it to the polls on Election Day, for any reason. You can request an advance ballot online through the Sedgwick County Election Office. Early voting usually refers to voting in person at the Election Office or a designated Early Voting site for a limited time prior to election day.

      For more information:

    • Despite many of the myths about rampant voter fraud with mail-in voting, there is little evidence to support this claim. There are several built-in anti-fraud protections to prevent and minimize such abuses. Kansas mail-in voting is using an absentee ballot, where a voter must request a mail-in ballot. In an absentee ballot system, a voter requests a ballot either by phone, in-person, or online through their local election office.

      When requesting a ballot, the voter must provide their name and address, and once the request is approved, the ballot is sent to the address on file of the registered voter on a preset schedule. The ballot that is sent out to the voter includes both the ballot itself and an outer security envelope with a barcode affixed to it and a signature line they must sign. The voter will place the ballot inside the security envelope, sign the outside of the envelope and mail it back. The signature is verified by an election worker when the ballot is mailed back against the signature that is on file for the voter. In addition, the outer envelope also has a unique tracking barcode, which will not only enable the ballot to track when a particular voter has voted (minimizing the likelihood of a someone being able to vote twice), but also allow the voter to check the status of their ballot to ensure that it has been accepted and processed correctly by election officials via the Kansas Secretary of State's VoterView website.

      These safeguards are in place to reduce the chance of voters being able to both vote by mail and in-person (via barcode tracking), using someone else's identity to vote (signature verification), and/or requesting a ballot under another person's name (ballots can only be sent to addresses on file for the voter – they cannot be forwarded to another address).


    • Yes. Sedgwick County has installed fourteen secure ballot drop boxes strategically around the county so voters may conveniently return their advance ballots. All ballot drop boxes are located outside and accessible 24/7 during active early voting periods. The drop boxes are closed simultaneously at 7 p.m. on Election Day. The drop boxes are locked and will be emptied daily by election workers.

    • The Sedgwick County Election Office begins in-person early voting 15 days before the election and continues until 12 Noon the Monday before Election Day. Additional satellite sites are open Thursday – Saturday the week before Election Day for local elections, or Tuesday – Saturday for large county-wide elections. Check the Election Office's website for locations and times.

    • You will have to vote in the precinct of your permanent residence. You can either apply for an advance voting (mail-in) ballot from your home county's election office, or go to the polling location in your home precinct to vote in-person. If you want to be able to vote in Wichita, you will have to change your residence on your ID to your school address and then re-register to vote with that address.

    • You can find your polling place at the Secretary of State's VoterView site. At this time, if voting in-person on election day, you have to vote at your assigned polling location. If voting early in-person, you can go to the Sedgwick County Election Office or one of the assigned early voting satellite locations during their designated times. Polling places are open for voting on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Both machine voting and paper ballot voting options are available.

    • First, you will be asked to provide a government-issued photo ID, you will then be asked to state your full name and address to the check in clerk. If your name or address doesn't match the voter registration data, you will have to fill out a provisional ballot. As long as your stated name and address match your registration record, you can choose to vote either by paper or machine ballot. If using the machine ballot, you will insert the blank paper ballot given to you by the poll worker into the machine. You will make your selections on the screen, which will then record your selections and print out your completed ballot. You will then give your completed ballot to the poll worker. Be sure to wear your "I voted" sticker with pride!

    • Kansas voters must show photo ID when voting in person. When voting by mail, voters must have their signature verified AND include a copy of an acceptable form of photo ID OR provide a full Kansas driver's license number/non-driver ID. Acceptable forms of ID include: Kansas Driver's License or Non-Driver ID Card, Concealed Carry Handgun License, U.S. Passport, U.S. Government Employee ID (municipal, county, state or federal), U.S. Military ID, Kansas College ID, Government Public Assistance ID, or Indian Tribal ID. If using Kansas Driver's license as form of ID, it cannot be expired at the time of voting; persons age 65 and older are exempt from this and may provide an expired driver's license as a form of photo ID.

    • Yes. Any person whose religious beliefs prohibit them from having a photo ID may be exempted from the ID requirement to vote. A Declaration of Religious Objection form must be filled out and submitted to either the Secretary of State or County Election Office where the person is registered. The DRO forms can be printed from the Secretary of State's website.

    • The ballot is only available in English. If a voter requires assistance because of a language barrier, they may receive assistance from another person (advance voting only). The person rendering assistance must sign a statement and return both the statement and the advance ballot to the Sedgwick County Election Office by the time the polls close election day. If needing assistance for in-person voting, contact your county election office.

    • If a voter is elderly or disabled and goes to the voting place, but finds it inaccessible, they may request that his or her ballot be brought to the entrance of the voting place. Two poll workers, each registered to a different political party, will come out to assist the person. Registered voters that have permanent physical disabilities or illnesses are also permitted to automatically receive advance ballots before every election. Applications for this special Permanent Advance Ballot Status are available from the Sedgwick County Election Office or at your library branch.

    • All voting machines in Sedgwick County are equipped with an audio ballot feature for accessibility as well as other ADA features. If you require an audio ballot or any other related accommodation, please ask an election worker.

    • A provisional ballot is used when there is a discrepancy. There are several instances where a provisional ballot might be used, such as when the name on the ID differs from the registration; the voter's address is different from the registration; the voter's name is not in the poll pad; a voter has already been issued an advance ballot; or the voter does not have a government issued photo ID. If voting provisionally for this last reason, you may provide a copy of your government issued photo ID to the election office prior to the beginning of the Official County Canvass in person or by fax, email or postal mail.

      As part of the certification of the election, the Board of County Canvassers makes all decisions regarding whether to accept provisional ballots. They are guided by state statute in determining which ballots should count.

      When issued a provisional ballot, the voter will first fill out a new voter registration application and then be given the provisional (paper) ballot to complete. A person voting by provisional ballot will also be handed an envelope to fill out and then seal the ballot inside. The sealed envelope will be held by election officials pending a determination, as provided by law, of the voter's qualifications to vote. If you are told you are ineligible to vote, you have a right under federal law to cast a provisional ballot, which is used to record a vote when there are questions about a voter's eligibility.

    • If you are convicted of a state or federal felony, you are required to complete the terms of your sentence (including probation and parole) before your voting rights can be restored. The county election office doesn't automatically restore your name on the voter registration list once your voting rights have been restored, so you will be required to re-register to vote. You will not be required to provide proof of final discharge when registering to vote; however, the voter registration form does contain an affidavit above the signature attesting that your voting rights have been restored. Signing a false affidavit is a felony, which could result in loss of voting rights if convicted, so be sure to check that all terms of your sentence have been completed before attempting to re-register to vote.

    • If you do not have any approved government-issued photo ID and wish to vote, you may be eligible to a receive a free non-driver ID card though the Kansas DMV. Visit for more info on eligibility requirements. If you are unable to produce proof of identity in order to receive the free non-driver ID, you may also be eligible for a free birth certificate in order to apply for a non-driver ID if you were born in Kansas. Qualifying individuals who lack proof of identity and want to obtain a free non-driver identification card may get a Kansas birth certificate from the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics at no cost.

    • Individuals who do not have proof of identity and do not wish to pay for such a document may apply for a State Voter Identification Document at no cost. (NOTE: This identification document is valid only for the purpose of voting in Kansas and may not be used for any other purpose.) To qualify, a person must have been born outside Kansas or been born in Kansas and received a "no certificate found" letter from the office of vital statistics and will need to provide a copy of the letter to the Secretary of State's Office along with their application. Qualified individuals should contact the election division of the Secretary of State's office at or (800) 262-VOTE to apply.

    • If you think your voting rights have been denied, call the ACLU of Kansas's Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE. If you are threatened with violence at or near a polling place, call 911. Other types of harassment or voter intimidation should be reported to a poll worker (unless they are the perpetrator) or by calling the ACLU hotline number listed above.

    • If you are told at the polling place that you aren't on the registered voter list, ask for a provisional ballot. You can also verify your information at the Secretary of State's VoterView site.

This page last reviewed on September 13, 2023.
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