The clock is ticking down to the Tuesday, Nov. 2 General Election which now is less than a month away.
Locally, candidates for city commissions/councils, school boards, hospital trustees and other positions will be on the ballot. People can find the names of the candidates by visiting the county website at www.dkcoks.org. Just click on “Elections” on the County Clerk page.
Registered voters also can see the ballot they will use by going online on the website to the Dickinson County clerk’s page and click on “Voter View.” If the residential address is typed in it will show the voter location.
The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Anyone who needs to register in Dickinson County can stop by the Dickinson County Clerk’s office, temporarily located in the Abilene Civic Center, 201 NW Second, and fill out a card, said County Clerk/Election Officer Barb Jones.
People can call the clerk’s office at 785-263-3774 and ask that a card be mailed to them to fill out or they may visit the county clerk’s page on the county website. Once there they can print out a form, fill it out and return it to the clerk’s office.
Registration also can be done at the Abilene City Office, Herington City Office or the Dickinson County Health Department.
To register to vote, people must be a United States citizen, a Kansas resident and be 18 years of age.
Advance voting starts next week
Advance voting begins Wednesday, Oct. 13, the day after voter registration closes.
“This will be the first day (Oct. 13) to mail ballots out and the first day to vote in person at the Abilene Civic Center,” Jones said.
Advance voting will take place in the civic center this year because the courthouse is still being renovated.
Those wanting to advance vote in person can go to the clerk’s office in the Abilene Civic Center at 201 NW Second, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The deadline to advance vote in person is noon on Monday, Nov. 1.
As in the past, a voting booth will be set up for those casting ballots.
Advance voting by mail
The deadline to accept advance ballot requests in the clerk’s/election office is Tuesday, Oct. 26. Any requests received after that date will not be processed. That’s due to the time it takes for items to be received by mail.
“Requesting a ballot is a two-step process,” Jones explained. “The voter must call and request a ballot and our office will mail the request. The request must be signed and the voter must write their driver’s license number on the form.
“Once the request form is completed and received in the clerk’s office the ballot will be mailed,” she said.
No voting at Blue Ridge School
Blue Ridge Elementary School, which has long served as a polling place in the northern part of the county, will no longer be used.
That decision to change the polling place was made earlier this summer due to unknowns about how the COVID pandemic might be affecting schools by November.
In 2020, voters were unable to enter the school gym through the front door due to COVID procedures. Instead, voters had to walk around the back using an entrance which wasn’t truly handicapped accessible.
As plans were made this year, Jones said the decision was made to move the poll permanently.
Thus, Hayes Township residents will vote at the Talmage Community/Senior Center, located at 2971 Main Street in Talmage, while Fragrant Hill and Sherman township residents will vote at the Chapman USD 473 District Office at 822 N. Marshall in Chapman.
Abilene wards move temporarily
Jones’ office sent out letters in September notifying registered City of Abilene voters they will cast their ballots at Holm West (the former Green Ford building), located at 2104 N. Buckeye. Typically, all Abilene wards vote at the Abilene Civic Center, but that location is unavailable this year due to the courthouse renovation.
On Election Day, voters must present photo identification and state their name and address to board workers before they will receive a ballot, Jones said.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Once the polls close, counting will be done at the county clerk’s office in its temporary location at the Abilene Civic Center.
Jones said write-in votes will not be tallied on election night because of the tremendous amount of time it takes to count write-ins as they are hand counted. This is especially true in races where no candidates filed. For example, no one filed for the mayor or council positions in the City of Manchester.