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Voters will have to wait awhile to get notices of new districts

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, June 11, 2012, at 12:49 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at 9:24 a.m.

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These state House members and challengers from Sedgwick County were involuntarily shifted from one district to another.

• Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, from 100 to 94

• Rep. Phil Hermanson, R-Wichita, from 96 to 98

• Rep. Jim Howell, R-Derby, from 82 to 81

• Rep. Dan Kerschen, R-Garden Plain, from 93 to 101

• Rep. Joe McLeland, R-Wichita, from 94 to 97

• Rep. Joseph Scapa, R-Wichita, from 87 to 88

• Rep. Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, from 105 to 91

• Democrat Matthew Collins, from 89 to 86

• Republican Charissa Jarboe Gale, from 91 to 92

• Republicans Mark Holick and Wade Waterbury, from 94 to 101

• Democrat Liz Hicks, from 95 to 105

• Republican Rick Lindsey, from 98 to 96

• Republican Lou Smith, from 90 to 91

Now that the court has set Kansas’ new district maps, there’s a good chance you will be voting in different districts for Congress or the Legislature.

But you may not know for certain how the changes affect you anytime soon. It’s going to take weeks before county and state officials have the new district information available for voters.

In Sedgwick County, the court-drawn map will affect only district changes for the three state offices – senator, representative and board of education. The county remains completely in the 4th Congressional District. Tweaks to the congressional district boundaries do affect other counties in the 4th District.

Sedgwick County hopes to be able to send cards out to voters with new districts in about two weeks.

“We’re not required to send out notices,” Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman said Monday. “But I can’t imagine how anyone who has changes would know what they are if we don’t. Anyone who experiences any changes, we’ll send them a card with new district information.”

She said the majority of the county’s nearly 265,000 registered voters will receive a card. A voter could have more than one district change, depending on how the redrawn maps affect that voter’s address.

The election office worked over the weekend trying to get a handle on how many changes there would be, Lehman said, but the maps they had at the time weren’t detailed enough with street names to get a final count.

“Our first pass through indicates there will be over 800 district changes within the precincts,” she said.

The state will need to collect all the changes from all the counties before its website can provide a voter with current district information, Secretary of State spokeswoman Kay Curtis said. The site where voters can punch in their address and get their districts – https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/ – isn’t expected to be updated for several weeks, she said.

“We may disable it in the meantime since it would be confusing to folks checking that,” Curtis said. “The counties have a lot of work to reshuffle things at their level.”

On the same card that Sedgwick County sends out, about 7,800 voters will be assigned a new commission district. The county completed redrawing those district lines in December. The county waited to send out that update until after it had the information on the other redistricting, which was completed last week.

In addition, some Derby voters’ card will include new ward boundaries for its City Council, but no council members are up for re-election this year.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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