BY CORIE LYNN
Election Day on Nov. 3 is fast approaching. With the general election comes candidate rallies, yards filled with signage and mail carriers loaded down with absentee ballots.
In Kansas, it’s too late to register to vote in the general election, but there are other ways for Ellis county residents to prepare for the upcoming election.
Registered voters can first visit Vote! Kansas. By searching their name and birthday, voters can view sample ballots and their voting records as well as find their local polling location.
Though this year’s ballot will include presidential candidates, local elections include candidates running for county commissioner, clerk and treasurer with the complete list of positions available online.
For those planning to vote in person, there are a number of polling locations across the county, and it is important to know one’s designated location in advance.
Hays residents can expect to vote at the Ellis County Meeting Room, the Hays VFW Hall, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the Smoky Hill Country Club, the Hays Recreation Center and the Sternberg Museum.
Voters in both Ellis city and Ellis township should plan on visiting the Ellis VFW while voters of the Freedom, Herzog and Victoria townships will visit the Victoria VFW Hall.
The final polling location is St. Nicholas Church in Hays. This location is open to voters from the East, West and North Big Creek townships as well as the Buckeye, Catherine, North Lookout, South Lookout, and Wheatland townships.
Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus said the first day of advance voting is Thursday at the Ellis County Administrative Center and can be done from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. until Oct. 30 and from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 and 31.
“The last day to Advance Vote is Monday, November 2nd from 8 a.m. until noon. Then you may vote 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. election day, November 3rd,” Maskus said.
Though the deadline to receive an advanced ballot has passed, voters may still mail in a request for an absentee ballot, provided the request is received by Oct. 27.
Those planning to vote in person need to remember to take their photo ID and mask with them to the polls.
They should also know that each polling location will be taking steps to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and voters.
“We do wish to have all voters, election board workers and my staff to ‘stay safe’ when voting,” Maskus said. “The Kansas Secretary of State has furnished some face masks and cleaner for the election board workers to keep the surroundings clean. Hand sanitizer will be supplied for everyone to use.”
More information about voting in Ellis county, including past election results and current ballot drop locations, can be found on the county website.