Election Day 2019: What You Need To Know

Nov 4, 2019

Nearly 80 voting sites in Sedgwick County are open Tuesday in the 2019 general election.

Voters will pick representatives for city offices and school boards, and decide a statewide constitutional amendment about the process for the census population count.

Wichita and 16 other cities have mayor or city council seats up for election. Ten school districts in Sedgwick County are looking to fill their Board of Education spots.

What's on the ballot

Wichita mayoral race

Arguably the biggest race on Wichitans' ballots is for the city's next mayor. Voters will decide between incumbent Mayor Jeff Longwell and state Rep. Brandon Whipple. Those are the candidates on the ballot; retired businessman Lyndy Wells is campaigning as a write-in candidate.

The active write-in campaign could impact the process for tabulating election results, says Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman.

"The machines are actually taking an image of every single write-in so it takes it longer to save the data onto the memory devices, that sort of thing," she says. "So if there are thousands upon thousands of write-ins it could slow down the machine shutting down."

In the 2003 mayoral election, more than 17,000 write-in votes were cast. In 2015, there were fewer than 1,500 write-ins.

A bipartisan board of election officials will hand-count each write-in vote Wednesday.

City council seats

Voters in Wichita City Council Districts 2, 4 and 5 will elect new representatives. (Not sure which district you live in? Check here.)

The race in District 2 is between incumbent Becky Tuttle, former state Rep. Joseph Scapa and high school debate coach Rodney Wren.

For the District 4 seat, incumbent Jeff Blubaugh is running for a second term against challengers Beckie Jenek, a businesswoman and former Kansas House candidate, and Christopher Parisho, a photographer and president of the Delano Neighborhood Association.

And in District 5, the race is between incumbent Bryan Frye and high school teacher Mike Magness.

Wichita school board

Three seats are up for election on the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education; only two are contested. Ernestine Krehbiel is running unopposed for the District 3 seat.

Where Wichita's School Board Candidates Stand On Education Issues

Incumbent and longtime board president Sheril Logan is running for the at-large seat against Joseph Shepard, Newman University's multicultural engagement director. 

For the District 4 seat, incumbent Stan Reeser is seeking reelection against James Kilpatrick, a retired captain for Wichita's Airport Police and Fire.

Don't be surprised to see all three races on your ballot: Voters anywhere in the school district can vote in all school board races.

A constitutional amendment

Finally, voters will be asked whether to support a constitutional amendment to end the practice in Kansas of adjusting its census numbers  — the state allows college students and members of the military to be counted elsewhere. The AP reports Kansas is one of just a few states that still do this; Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab says the practice is costly and unnecessary. 

Here's how the question will look on your ballot:

How do I vote?

If you're casting a ballot in person, polling sites are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (You can find your polling site here.) Remember: If you're in line before 7 p.m., you can vote. Plus: Wichita Transit is offering free bus rides on Election Day.

If you're voting by mail, ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, and received in the election office by Friday. 

Lehman expects to post unofficial results on the Sedgwick County website throughout Tuesday evening. We'll have live updates on kmuw.org once polls close. Tallies will be updated Friday after the last mail ballots are counted. 

A vote canvass on Nov. 15 will consider provisional ballots and certify the election results.