The Sedgwick County Election Office in downtown Wichita is extending its office hours through Tuesday in order to process voter registrations.
The deadline to register to vote in the November election is midnight Tuesday. Applications can be submitted online, by mail or in person.
Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman expects a rush as the deadline gets closer, so her office will stay open an extra two hours — until 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
"We are concerned that if people can’t get here by 5 p.m. it might affect their ability to register to vote. So we are just trying to make it as easy as possible for people," Lehman says.
"We do have a steady flow of people that has been coming in that are wanting to do it in person so we just want to give them that opportunity."
Thousands of registrations that arrived by mail and email still need to be processed. Lehman says the number of registered voters is at an all-time high this year and will top 300,000 by Election Day.
"We have a backlog of probably well over 2,000 to process, so we’re definitely going to hit that mark," she says. "We are pretty excited about that."
The county added more than 25,000 new voters since the last mid-term election. To prepare for the increase, the county designated 10 new polling locations this year.
Along with processing voter registrations, the elections office staff is also preparing ballots to go out by mail beginning Wednesday. Lehman says about 44,000 people have requested absentee ballots so far this year.
Voters need to request a mail-in ballot by Oct. 28.