Primary elections are held to reduce the field of candidates for the general election.
Nonpartisan Primary Elections
Primary elections in odd-numbered years in Johnson County are nonpartisan. Every registered voter in a district will receive the same list of candidates. State law prohibits party affiliation from being printed on the ballot next to a candidate’s name.
Unlike even-year primary elections, odd-year primaries for nonpartisan candidates only take place when the number of candidates for a contest passes the required level to trigger a primary. The standard statutory level for a primary is equal to three times the positions up for election, plus one. Cities may charter-out of these statutory requirements, and establish their own requirements for primary elections.
For example: a contest race with only one position open will likely only have a primary if four or more candidates file for office. An at-large contest race with four positions open would require 13 candidates before a primary would be held.
[KSA 25-2006(b), KSA 25-2108a(a), KSA 71-1415]
Partisan Primary Elections
Partisan Primary Elections are held for the two major political parties in Kansas is held on the first Tuesday in August in even-numbered years.
[KSA 25-202, 25-203]
The Democratic August Primary Election is open only to those voters registered with the Democratic party and unaffiliated voters who wish to affiliate with the Democratic party by filling out a new declaration card on election day.
The Republican August Primary Election is open only to those registered as Republicans and unaffiliated voters who wish to affiliate as Republicans by filling out a new declaration card on election day.
Unaffiliated voters who do not wish to declare a party affiliation, and Libertarian voters are eligible to vote on nonpartisan contest races and submitted questions listed on a primary ballot, if any. All relevant nonpartisan items and questions also appear on the Democratic and Republican primary ballots.
Primary voting rules are established by the parties and state law, and are not established by the Election Office. Voters may cast only one ballot in any election.
The Election Office does not distribute campaign/candidate information. A voter may contact the political party headquarters for candidate position information.
Precinct Committee Positions
Candidates for precinct committeeman and committeewoman for the Democratic and Republican parties are elected at the national/state primary in August of even-numbered years.
General Elections take place on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November each year. This is the election in which candidates are actually elected to office.
Even-numbered year elections have National/State/County/Township offices.
Odd-numbered year elections have the City/School/Community College offices.
A voter's party affiliation does not matter in a general election like it does in an even-numbered year partisan primary election.
Every registered voter within a voting precinct will receive the same ballot style for a general election, regardless of their political affiliation.
Candidates are listed with their party affiliation on the ballot in even-numbered years, and without their party affiliation in odd years.
Special Mail Ballot Elections
A special mail ballot election is an election conducted entirely by mail at the request of a jurisdiction.
Ballots are mailed to registered voters, and ballots are the marked by the voters and returned by mail to the Election Office.
Ballots may also be returned in person at the Election Office during regular business hours or by using the drop box after hours. All ballots must be returned by 12:00-noon on Election Day for special mail ballot elections.
A mail ballot election may only be conducted for a “question-submitted” matters, such as a school district seeking voter approval of a bond issue for the district, or a sales tax ballot question.
Mail Ballot Election Day
Election day is determined by the Election Commissioner, but is typically on a Tuesday.
The mail ballot submittal deadline is 12:00-noon on election cay for Special Mail Ballot elections. Ballots returned after the noon deadline are marked "Received Too Late" and are recommended to the Canvass Board to not be counted.
Voters returning their ballot after the 12:00-noon Election Day deadline, but prior to the Canvass Board meeting, will receive voting history for casting a ballot even though their ballot is recommended to not count and it will not be included in the final voting tabulations.
Sending Mail Ballots
Active voters residing within the voting district, who are registered at least 30-days prior to Election Day, automatically receive a mail ballot. Ballots are mailed beginning 20-days before Election Day.
Voters registering within 30-days before Election Day, but before the Voter Registration deadline, which is 21-days before Election Day, must apply for a mail ballot using a Replacement Mail Ballot Form provided by the Election Office. The deadline for such requests is the three days prior to the Election Day, or the Friday prior to a Tuesday election.
For a mail ballot election, there will not be any polling places open on Election Day. Accessible voting options will be available at the Election Office.
All registered voters are already registered for a special mail ballot election.
The Voter registration deadline for a mail ballot election closes 21-days before Election Day.
Voters who register between 30-days and 21-days before Election Day are eligible to apply for a mail ballot. A ballot will not be sent automatically.
A voting district resident may submit a voter registration application and a Replacement Mail Ballot Form together.
The voter registration application must be postmarked or received in the Election Office by the date voter registration closes.
Mail Ballot Election Voting Instructions
Every ballot mailed will include instructions on voting the ballot and completing the return envelope. No postage is necessary to return voted ballots for special mail ballot elections, if mailed in the United States.
Only one voted ballot is permitted to be returned in each voter-specific return envelope.
The voter’s signature and current address are required to be noted by the voter on the return envelope by Kansas Statute.
If the affidavit is not signed on the return envelope by the voter, Kansas law prohibits anyone from opening the envelope or counting the voted ballot. The Affidavit of Voter must be signed on the return envelope for a ballot to be opened and counted.
A voter who is sick, disabled, or is not proficient in reading the English language may need the assistance of another person to mark and/or return the ballot.
Any such person providing assistance to a voter must sign the Affidavit of Assistance on the return envelope.
Mail Ballot Return Deadline
All ballots cast in a special mail ballot election must be received by the Johnson County Election Office on or before 12:00-noon on Election Day.
Please mail ballots early so that it will arrive in the Election Office not later than 12:00 noon on Election Day.
Mail ballots may be delivered to the Election Office in person or returned to a ballot drop box location, if a voter is not confident that the US Postal Service will deliver the ballot to the Election Office by the 12-noon deadline.
All ballots personally returned to the Election Office or to a drop box location on Election Day must be received by 12:00 noon. Ballots returned after the noon deadline are marked "Received Too Late" and are recommended to the Canvass Board to not be counted..
The privacy and secrecy of a ballot is maintained by a careful and deliberate procedure when voted mail ballot envelopes are opened.
After the voter's signature and information on the return envelope has been confirmed, return envelopes are opened by a bi-partisan special election board.
When the envelopes are opened, the voted ballot is removed and placed face down in one pile to prevent anyone from seeing how the ballot is voted. The empty envelope is placed in a separate pile.
After the voted ballots are separated from the envelopes, the empty envelopes are banded and placed in a storage box, then ballots are unfolded and flattened.
Ballots are batched and processed through a high-speed tabulator that counts and images the ballots for tabulation. After ballots are scanned, they are placed in a storage box and sealed.
Unofficial results are posted at the Election Office Web Site as soon as results are available on Election Day.
Official final results will be posted to the website after the Board of Canvassers meet to consider Provisional Ballots and certify the election.