(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of articles about upcoming local election issues.)
Local voters who want to participate in the Kansas Republican Presidential Caucus still have a few days to finish voter registration or party affiliation changes if they need to.
According to County Clerk Donna Zimmerman, voters have until the close of business Friday to get that detail set in order to participate in the March 10 caucus.
According to state GOP information, to participate in the caucus, a voter should, “bring your state issued photo ID (like a driver’s license) to the caucus location. Be prepared for lines during the check-in process. Each voter will have to have their registration verified.”
The caucus will be called to order at 10 a.m. on March 10. Actual times may differ from one location to another, according to the Kansas GOP information.
“Each caucus location will determine when it will open doors to start credentialing voters. Sites anticipating small attendance may open around 9:30 a.m., while larger attendance sites may open as early as 8:30.”
The local caucus will be held in the Great Bend High School auditorium.
If anyone needs to change their party affiliation to participate in the caucus, it would be best for them to handle that in the county clerk’s office in the courthouse, Zimmerman suggested.
On the other hand, someone who needs to register for the first time has a lot of choices for where they get that done.
According to information from the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office, in order for someone to vote in a Kansas election, they must:
• Be 18 years of age or older.
• Be a United States citizen.
• Be a resident of Kansas.
State regulations also require that a “person must be registered to vote 15 days before the election and must be a resident at the time of registration.”
According to information from Zimmerman, voters may register to vote during regular business hours at the following locations:
Barton County Clerk’s Office, Room 202, 1400 Main; all city clerks’ offices in Barton County; Barton County Farm Bureau, 4210 Eighth; Barton County Health Department, 1300 Kansas; Credit Union of America, 4708 10th; First Kansas Bank, 101 N. Main, Hoisington; Front Door, 1615 10th; Great Bend Public Library, 1409 Williams; Hoisington Library, 169 S. Walnut, Hoisington; Kansas Department of Social & Rehabilitation Services, 1305 Patton Road; Kansas Drivers License Examination Department, Barton County Courthouse; Rosewood Services, 384 N. Washington; Sunflower Diversified Services Inc., 8823 Fourth; and Center for Counseling and Consultation, 5815 Broadway.
Voters do not have to register, once they have been registered, unless something changes, according to Zimmerman’s information. It states that, “When a voter has been registered according to law, the voter shall remain registered until the voter changes name by marriage, divorce, or other legal proceedings, or changes residences.”
The caucus isn’t the only political event going on, Zimmerman noted.
Registration is also open for city elections, coming up in April.
Registration for those voters are open until March 13. Then the books close for Great Bend, Hoisington and Ellinwood and for the parts of Lakin and Commanche townships that vote on the Ellinwood hospital board.
However, Zimmerman explained, the rest of the county doesn’t close registration, since there are no city elections there. All registration reopens after the city elections.