Election 2020

Crysta Henthorne / For the Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Charles Bell usually passes on voting. He’s a Democrat in a Republican state and said, “If I vote, it’s not going to count.”

But after seeing Kansans elect a Democratic governor in 2018, he thought maybe the state was changing. And so this year, for only the second time in his 63 years, he voted, hoping Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier might be elected.

Updated at 1:54 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States, narrowly emerging victorious from a contentious White House campaign that stretched days past election night, as vote tallies in several swing states were slowed by an unprecedented surge in mail-in ballots.

Fernando Salazar/For KMUW

When voting ended Tuesday night, Sarah Lopez – the Democratic challenger trying to unseat Michael O’Donnell from the Sedgwick County Commission – was losing by nearly 600 ballots.

But a wave of mail-in ballots has now vaulted Lopez into a 125-vote lead.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — This week’s election set the stage for partisan fights in the Kansas Statehouse over things like redistricting, abortion, Medicaid expansion and pandemic-related aid.

Democrats had hoped to crack the Republican supermajority in both chambers — thus taking away the GOP’s power to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes — but that didn’t happen.

Fernando Salazar / KMUW

Preliminary voter turnout numbers in Sedgwick County show more votes were cast in Tuesday's general election than in the 2016 presidential election.

The Sedgwick County Election Office says about 61% of registered voters participated in Tuesday's general election. Officials expect turnout to rise to about 65% once pending mail and provisional ballots are counted. 

Sedgwick County had more than 322,000 registered voters this year — an increase of 28,000 since the 2016 election.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Democrat Stephanie Byers became the first transgender member of the Kansas Legislature Tuesday night.

She’ll represent parts of south Wichita after defeating Republican challenger Cyndi Howerton in the race for Kansas House District 86. Byers received 54% of the vote in her first run for public office.

Byers is a retired band, orchestra and jazz teacher at Wichita North High School. She taught there for nearly 30 years.

She spoke about her transition and how she explained that to her students in an interview with KMUW in May 2019.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Voters re-elected two commissioners in Sedgwick County, but it’s not clear if one of them will actually serve a second term.

Fernando Salazar / for KMUW

Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Estes will stay in Congress after winning re-election Tuesday night in Kansas’ 4th District.

Fernando Salazar/For KMUW

Another member of the Estes family will represent Kansans as Susan Estes won her race for a seat in the Kansas House.

Estes, a former teacher, is married to U.S. Congressmen Ron Estes, who also won his race Tuesday night.

Susan Estes defeated Democratic challenger Matt Fox, a middle school teacher and wrestling coach in Douglass, with 56% of the vote.

The seat is part of the 125-member Kansas House of Representatives. District 87 represents portions of east Wichita.

Democrats and Republicans in Kansas will keep their seats in the U.S. House, as Tuesday’s election favored the incumbents plus the Republican candidate in the 2nd Congressional District.

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