Democrats, Republicans seeing different trends in early voting

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Hundreds of thousands of Kansans are taking advantage of early voting, but the way they are voting is split among party lines.

Democrats are outnumbering Republicans when voting by mail in Kansas, but Republicans are voting in person in higher numbers.

The largest affiliations for voters in Kansas are Republicans, then independents, with Democrats coming in third. But if you look at mail-in voting there have been nearly 45,000 more Democrats that have sent in their ballot than Republicans.

“We’re not taking our foot of the gas, we want to make sure we finish well and make sure every Kansans’ voice is heard in this election,” said Ben Meers, executive director for the Kansas Democratic Party.

It’s a different story for in-person voting before election day. Republicans lead in that category by about 62,000 votes. Meaning overall, even with the record turnout by mail, Republicans are leading in ballots cast, though it’s not clear who the votes are going to.

“I predict that we’ll see an even wider spread between Republicans and Democrats showing up to vote because so many Republicans are going to do it in person,” said Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mike Kuckelman.

But because Democrats trail Republicans in registered voters by more than 350,000, they’re encouraged by the results so far.

“Republicans may have instilled doubt on this election and the validity of it, but really we’re just trying to make sure every Kansans’ vote is heard, and we know high turnout numbers bodes well for Democrats,” Meers said.

With less than a week until election day, Kuckelman said, unless it’s your only option, try not to rely on the postal service to send in your ballot.

“We count on the mail daily to deliver our bills and things like that, the worst case scenario if you miss your payment on your electric bill, you get a delinquency notice and you fix it,” Kuckelman said. “If you miss your vote, you miss your vote, there’s no way to fix that later. So we are emphasizing to people, why take the chance, go vote in person, and if you already have requested and have a ballot in hand, again, deliver that in person.”

The deadline to request an advanced ballot passed on Tuesday. If you do mail your ballot, it has to be postmarked by election day and received no later than three days after.

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