Primary Election 2020: What You Need To Know Before You Vote
Although both the Democratic and Republican parties ditched their presidential primaries this year, there are still several significant races on Kansas primary ballots on Aug. 4 — and plenty of down-ballot races that need deciding, too.
Here's what you need to know about the primary races and about voting during a pandemic.
What's on the ballot?
Sedgwick County Commission
Two seats on the commission are up for election this year, and there are Republican primaries for both.
In the 2nd District, which covers southern Wichita down to Mulvane and Clearwater, incumbent Michael O'Donnell is facing two challengers: Wichita Nonprofit Chamber of Service CEO Cindy Miles and U.S. Department of Justice data analyst Kathleen Garrison. The winner of the race will meet Democrat Sarah Lopez in November.
In the 3rd District in western Sedgwick County, incumbent David Dennis faces Goddard City Council president Hunter Larkin. Whoever wins the primary will face Democrat Mike Iuen in the general.
Kansas State House
Locally, there are several House races on primary ballots. As Jim McLean of the Kansas News Service reported, control of the Kansas Legislature could hinge on what happens on Aug. 4. (Click the numbers below for a map of each district. Not sure which district you live in? The Sedgwick County Election Office has resources to find out.)
District 82: Republicans Jesse Burris (incumbent) and Jerimiah Webb
District 85: Republicans Michael Capps (incumbent) and Patrick Penn
District 89: Republicans Robert W. Herrick Jr. and Emanuel Banks
District 93: Republicans J.C. Moore (incumbent), Brian Bergkamp, and Mike Webb
District 97: Republicans Nick Hoheisel (incumbent) and Michael E. Walker
District 98: Democrats Steven G. Crum and Carol Brewer
Kansas State Senate
District 30: Democrats Melissa Gregory and Amy Lyon
There are 11 Republicans and two Democrats running to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, meaning there are primaries for both parties.
Kansas Sen. Barbara Bollier is widely considered the Democratic candidate who will advance to the November general election ahead of Robert Tillman.
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and 1st District Congressman Roger Marshall are the frontrunners in the Republican race. Also on the ballot are:
- Lance Berland
- John L. Berman
- Derek C. Ellis
- Bob Hamilton
- David Lindstrom
- Brian Matlock
- John Miller
- Steve Roberts
- Gabriel Mark Robles
The Kansas News Service has a handy breakdown of the primaries being held for seats in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts — voters in the 4th District will have to wait until November to vote for either Republican incumbent Rep. Ron Estes or Democrat Laura Lombard.
State Board of Education
District 8: Republicans Kathy Busch and Trish Hileman
How do I vote?
If you're voting in person, the Sedgwick County Election Office in downtown Wichita is open Saturday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to noon for early voting. Sixteen satellite voting locations are open on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Any registered voter in Sedwick County can vote at any early polling location. You'll need a form of ID (like a driver's license, tribal ID or military ID).
Polls open on Election Day a 6 a.m. in Sedgwick County and close at 7 p.m. As long as you're in line before the polls close, you can still vote. You'll need to go to your assigned polling place (which you can find here). Again, don't forget your ID.
If like so many other Kansans you're voting by mail this year (you should have requested your ballot by July 28), all ballots need to be postmarked on or by Election Day (Aug. 4) so they arrive at the election office by Friday in order to be counted. You can also save a stamp and drop off your completed ballot at one of the early voting centers or a polling site on Election Day.