The first two times that I voted, it was through the U.S. Postal Service by absentee ballot.
I was a student at Kansas State University and, rather than drive back to Abilene on Election Day, I requested and received an absentee ballot for both the primary and general elections.
It’s pretty easy actually.
That general election may have been the last time a Democrat launched a serious challenge for the U.S. Senate in Kansas.
That Democrat was William R. Roy, but we referred to him as Dr. Bill Roy.
Republican Bob Dole won his second term in office by 13,532 votes, a margin of 50.85 percent of the vote.
An even closer race was the one for the residency of Cedar Crest.
History quiz question No. 1:
What name was on the general election governor’s ballot?
a) Marshall Uncapher
b) Robert Frederick Bennett
c) Vern Miller
d) All of the above
Republican Bob Bennett, as I remember him when I interviewed him in my college journalism days, wore a goatee long before it became a popular trend. He won the election by less than 50 percent of the vote, receiving 387,792, just 3,677 more than Vern Miller. There were 783,875 votes cast that year.
That alone should give every registered voter a reason to darken the oval completely in this election.
I shook hands with Vern Miller, not when he was raiding Brown’s Park as attorney general, but before the start of the parade that summer.
(For the record, him hiding in the truck of his car in order to make an drug arrest was erroneously documented to have happened in Wichita.)
I also met another renowned politician, Bob Dole, at a gas station on Interstate 70 after he and Elizabeth were married in Manhattan.
History quiz question No. 2:
In the August 6, 1974 primary there were six amendments on the ballot. What was Kansas Right to Vote Amendment 3 about?
a) To vote one must first pass an eye test to ensure they are voting for the right person.
b) To vote one must be at least 18 years of age.
c) Allow voters over the age of 65 to vote first to avoid standing in line.
d) Require voters to place their left hand on the Bible and raise their right hand and swear that the name they are about to give is correct.
The amendment, which passed by 68.08 percent of the vote, required voters to be 18 years of age and reside in the voting area. Anyone with a mental illness or convicted of a felony is prohibited from voting.
History quiz question No. 3:
Who won the presidential election that same year?
a) Richard Nixon
b) Jimmy Carter
c) Ronald Reagan
d) None of the above
There was not a presidential election that year.
So, vote early in person or vote in person on Nov. 3. And if you are voting for the first time, congratulations for living in a country where your vote counts but be sure you have an ID to prove you are 18.