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

06/11/2012 5:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:10 AM

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 – – 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.

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