Kansas primary election allows voters to rank candidates

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — If you plan to vote in the Presidential primary election in May, things are going to be a little different this year. The ballot will now be a ranked-choice voting system. For many, this is a new way of voting. The Kansas Democratic Party held an informational meeting on this new-to-Kansas voting style at their Washington Days convention on Friday.

Ranked-choice voting gives voters the option to rank the remaining presidential candidates 1st through 5th, or their favorite to their least favorite. For this primary, there will be 4 candidates on the ballot: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren. Voters can also vote ‘uncommitted’, meaning you don’t want to vote for a candidate. Voters do not need to rank all candidates.

The Kansas Democratic Party says this style of voting gives voters the ability to make their voices heard, even if their first choice candidate does not win the vote.

“They still have a say, their vote still counts,” explained Dwight Keeling Jr., Presidential Primary Director for the Kansas Democratic Party. “Instead of it just being one guy and he doesn’t get through and then your votes get tossed in the ocean or somewhere, your vote will still count.”

Dwight Moore is a democrat from Fort Scott. He is going to be helping run a polling location in May, which is why he wanted to attend the meeting and get his questions answered. Moore says it’s important to inform voters of these changes before they vote.

“It would help them make a choice to realize that they can rank their votes, so if they’ve done that before they get there — if they’ve thought about it — then it will go a lot faster,” said Moore.

Voters will also be given the option to vote by mail. The deadline to register to vote by mail is April 17, 2020. The Kansas primary election will take place on May 2, 2020.

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