Election 2020

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Key 2020 Dates

  • July 14 | Deadline to register to vote in the Kansas primary election.
  • August 4 | Kansas Primary Election Day and deadline to return or postmark advance ballots.
  • October 13 | Deadline to register to vote  in the general election.
  • November 3 | General Election Day

Resources

 

KMUW's 2020 Election Blueprint is supported by the COVID-19 Connection Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle said Thursday that she will not run for the U.S. Senate, citing “personal and political trials” in the last year for her decision.

Wagle announcement also indicated that she would not seek reelection to the Kansas Senate. The filing deadline is Monday.

The decision leaves U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall and former Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the primary candidates for the GOP nomination for the seat.

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts says he will not run for re-election in 2020, opening the door to a parade of candidates announcing a run or considering jumping into the race to replace him. Multiple Republicans are eyeing the seat, and it could be the first time Democrats have a competitive U.S. Senate primary since the 1990s.

Here’s the rundown of who’s seeking the seat in Washington: 

REPUBLICANS

Bob Hamilton

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

MANHATTAN, Kansas — Five Republicans running for the U.S. Senate debated farm issues in Manhattan on Saturday. They all described themselves as loyalists to President Donald Trump.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

A top Republican legislator who worked with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on a plan for expanding Medicaid in Kansas announced Friday that he is not seeking re-election.

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said it’s time for him to focus again on his wife and business. The Overland Park Republican is the retired CEO of an eye care and optical surgery company and was expected to have a tough re-election race this year.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

TOPEKA — Joe Biden has overwhelmingly won a Democratic presidential primary in Kansas that the state party conducted exclusively by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, a former vice president, was expected to prevail in Saturday's vote and capture a majority of the states delegates to the Democrats national nominating commission. Biden took 77% of the vote.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was still in the race when the Kansas party began mailing ballots at the end of March, but he suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden.

WICHITA, Kansas — Thousands of Reno County voters usually cast their ballots at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, a central location with a high capacity.

Deputy Election Officer Jenna Fager said it’ll look different for this year’s August primary and November general election to avoid spreading the coronavirus. How different, though, she’s not sure.

“We’d have to consult emergency management and our health department and just, kind of, do the best we can,” she said.

The Kansas Democratic presidential primary isn’t until Saturday, but turnout is already three times larger than 2016.

For the first time, the state Democratic Party used mail-in ballots due to concerns about COVID-19. Party officials announced Tuesday that they had processed 138,400 ballots -- up from 39,266 in 2016.

Party executive director Ben Meers said he was not surprised by the results.

“COVID presented the point of pivot for us,” he said. “We always thought that voting by mail would increase accessibility for voters and we’ve certainly seen that in 2020."

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Tobias Wood is thinking twice about working at a polling place in Shawnee County this year. He’s done it since 2018, but now he’s practicing social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

He knows that might be difficult during elections, when he needs to handle people’s IDs and have voters sign in on a tablet.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Kansas Democrats have scrapped plans for polling sites for their May 2 presidential primary and are using only mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus continues to spread in Kansas. The result of emergency orders is that many people are staying in their homes.

The shutdown of businesses across the state has triggered a record wave of people seeking unemployment benefits. The public health emergency has also forced politicians off the campaign trail.

On this week’s Statehouse Blend Kansas, Jim McLean talks with the manager of one U.S. Senate campaign to find out how that candidate is adapting.

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