Elections are hard. Particularly when not everybody gets to vote. Here’s how to get it done.
1. Am I voting at all in this election?
In Wichita, you vote only if you live in City Council District 1. The only other races on Tuesday’s ballot in Sedgwick County are for people who live in Haysville City Council Ward 4 or Park City Ward 3.
2. But I know my council district is up for election this year. School board too.
If you’re not in Council District 1, you’ll just have to wait.
Campaigns are under way in Wichita City Council districts 2 and 6, but there were not enough candidates for either seat to justify a primary to narrow the field.
They’ll be on the ballot Nov. 7.
Ditto for Wichita school board seats 1, 2, 5 and 6.
3. Where’s City Council District 1?
It’s a strip of the east-central part of the city that starts at the Linwood Park neighborhood in south Wichita, runs north through College Hill and the east side of downtown, up through the area around Wichita State University and to the city’s northern border. It juts out to the west to take in the WaterWalk and McAdams Park areas and to the east to pick up neighborhoods around Chisholm Creek Park.
There’s a map online here: http://www.wichita.gov/Council/CityCouncilDocument/Council%20District%20I%20Map%20-%2011x17.pdf
4. Who’s running?
In alphabetical order, the candidates are:
▪ Brandon Johnson – Johnson founded the advocacy group Community Operations Recovery Empowerment in 2011. CORE is active in police/community relations, economic development, youth mentoring and establishing community gardens. He is a member of the District 1 District Advisory Board and a former member of the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
▪ Mike Kinard – Kinard served on the Wichita school board from 2001 to 2005 and is a former candidate for Congress. He owns a photography/video/archiving company. He is a former board member of the Wichita YMCA and the Urban League of Kansas.
▪ John Stevens – Stevens is a longtime conservative activist and a former candidate for the state House of Representatives. He is president of the Wichita Pachyderm Republican Club.
▪ Janet Wilson – Wilson is a neighborhood activist and a member of the Wichita Transit Advisory Board. She works for neighborhood improvement and blight reduction in the northeast community. She also serves on the board of Wichita Independent Neighborhoods.
5. How do I find out where the candidates stand on the issues?
The Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com have created a voter guide containing profiles of each candidate and their answers to questions about key issues facing District 1 and the city.
Click this link to go there: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/election/article162986943.html
6. OK, now I’m jazzed about voting. How do I find out where to go?
You can go to the polling place lookup utility on the Sedgwick County election office web site. It’s at https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do
Or, if you’re not inclined to use the computer, you can call the election office at 316-660-7100.
If you do accidentally go to the wrong polling place, but you’re still within your City Council district, you can ask to cast a provisional ballot. State law requires your vote to be counted during the post-election canvassing.
7. When can I vote?
On Tuesday, Election Day, polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
8. Any way to beat the rush?
One last chance. Advance voting sites closed Saturday except for a four-hour window to vote from 8 a.m. to noon Monday at the county election office, in the Historic Courthouse building at 510 N. Main, Wichita.
9. What do I need to take to the polls?
Photo identification. Any government-issued photo ID will do. Common examples include driver’s licenses, DMV non-driver ID cards, passports, state university IDs and public employee ID cards.
ID must be current unless you’re 65 or older, in which case you can use expired identification.
10. What if I’ve been told my voter registration is suspended?
You may still be able to vote. Federal and state courts have ruled that voters who registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles and those who used a federal registration form can vote even if they didn’t provide documented proof of citizenship required by state law. You can call the county election office, 316-660-7100, to check your status.