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Politics
00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

Deadline Approaching For Party Switching Before Kansas Primary

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A deadline is looming for Kansas voters who want to change political parties in time for the August primary election.

State law says voters can’t switch party affiliation for the primary after June 1. This is only the second election affected by the new party registration deadline.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew says some voters were caught unaware two years ago.

“We had a number of people -especially in July because of the old registration deadline which happens in July- who were used to redeclaring a party and they couldn’t,” Shew says.

The law only applies to voters who already have listed a party affiliation on their registration. Unaffiliated voters can wait and choose a party affiliation on the day of the primary election.

“You can come into the polling place and declare a party on Election Day and pick up that ballot," Shew says. "So an unaffiliated voter does not have to affiliate by June 1, they can affiliate on Election Day."

Shew says voters who want to switch political parties can request a party declaration form or fill out a new voter registration form.