KANSAS — More than 300,000 Kansans have applied for a mail-in ballot for next week’s primaries.
Republicans outweigh democrats in the state, but early voting numbers are showing a much more divided state.
The deadline to request a mail in ballot ends Tuesday.
Of the 300,000 ballots requested – the Secretary of State says that number is nearly split between the two major parties, with democrats slightly outweighing republicans. But that means there’s a higher amount of democrats turning to mail in ballots than republicans.
Bob Beatty, Political Analyst, said, “Fewer republicans relative to democrats, now what can happen is this can be a big disadvantage to republicans.”
About 36% of mail in ballots have been returned, with democrats turning in 4,000 more than their counterparts.
Ballots will be counted as long as they are postmarked by election day.
The Kansas Democratic Party has pushed for more people to use mail in ballots during the coronavirus outbreak if they don’t feel comfortable going to the polls.
Secretary of State Scott Schwab credits Governor Laura Kelly.
Scott Schwab, Secretary of State, said, “When we have a democrat Governor in the state of Kansas they have the fundraising mechanisms to get an organized mail-in ballot campaign together and if the republicans have it, they get a better get out the vote effort if they have that Governor’s office.”
Schwab says he doesn’t care how someone votes, as long as they’re voting.
“Clearly people are going that option whether it’s because they’re at risk and there’s concern or they take care of somebody who could be at risk and they don’t want to something home to somebody they take care of.”
He says more people may realize the convenience of mail in voting after this year.
Political Analyst Bob Beatty says democrats are setting the example of how to get more people to vote. He says republicans may be hurting themselves if a high amount of republican voters don’t show up on election day.
“I think for both parties encouraging voting by mail is just a wise strategy,” said Beatty.
In person advance voting will continue until noon on Monday before election day.