Election Commissioner offers tips and advice for Washburn students and first-time voters

The Kansas State Capital in Topeka, Kansas. Many of the elections this Tuesday will determine who will walk these halls.

photo by Isaac Deer

The Kansas State Capital in Topeka, Kansas. Many of the elections this Tuesday will determine who will walk these halls.

On Nov. 8, 2022, Shawnee County voters will have the last chance to cast their ballots and let their voices be heard on local and national matters.

For first-time voters, walking up to a poll place can be intimidating if you’re unsure what lies ahead. Luckily, the Shawnee County election office has a plethora of resources that will be able to assist first-time voters.

“I recommend people to look up where they’re going to vote through Kansas Voter View,” said Andrew Howell, Shawnee County election commissioner. “You could find where you’re going to vote through our website or the Secretary of State’s website to find that.”

Knowing one’s voting location is essential, and Shawnee County has 95 different polling locations, so voters should research ahead to see which which site they’ll have to visit.

Once voters go to “Kansas Voter View,” they can enter their names, date of birth and address, and it will give specific information on where they need to vote Nov. 8. The government will provide a sample ballot on “Kansas Voter View” as well before they go in to cast their ballot.

Howell also recommended some ideal times to avoid voter traffic potentially. Between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. would be the best time to get through the line quicker. Citizens can vote Nov. 8 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“You typically want to avoid not being in the line right at 7 a.m.,” Howell said. “Usually, there will be a big line right when the polling locations open up. The busiest is the beginning of the day, lunch hours and the end of the day. If you’re in a hurry, we understand. Sometimes the lines aren’t too bad; it depends on your voting location.”

Unlike getting a driver’s license, voters do not have to bring a lot of materials with them to vote. It’s a simple process, and the Shawnee County Election Office wants first-time voters to know it’s not arduous.

“You don’t need to bring anything but your government-issued ID,” Howell said. “A government-issued ID could be a driver’s license, passport, military ID or a Kansas ID card. If you work for a government agency, you could also use their government-issued ID. If you don’t have it on you and can’t get it quickly enough, you could do a provisional. That would give you 13 days after election day to email us a copy.”

Edited by Glorianna Noland, Justin Shepard