SECRETARY OF STATE RELEASES GENERAL ELECTION TURNOUT PREDICTION
Thursday, October 29, 2020
TOPEKA – The Office of Secretary of State today released the turnout projection for the November 3 general election. Secretary of State Scott Schwab predicts 70 percent of Kansas voters will participate in the 2020 general election.
“As in previous elections, Kansas voters have been able to vote through advance by mail ballot, by advance in-person voting and in-person voting in the 2020 general election,” said Secretary of State Scott Schwab. “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas voters should feel confident in their options to safely cast a secure ballot.”
The turnout prediction is based on several factors including historical turnout data, advance voting figures, registered voters in Kansas, and competitive races driving turnout. The Secretary of State’s Office acknowledged the pandemic has created several unique factors not present in prior elections. In 2016, roughly 1,225,667 registered voters, or 67.4 percent, participated in the general election. Advance voting trends show over 565,000 ballots have already been cast through advance voting as part of the general election. Unofficial numbers report there are over 1.9 million registered Kansas voters.
Schwab encourages voters to be proactive in returning advance by mail ballots. Voters can return their advance by mail ballots in the mail, drop them off at local election offices, place them in secure lock boxes at county election offices or hand deliver them to a polling location on election day. Advance by mail ballots must be postmarked on or before election day and received in the local election office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 6.
“Based on advance voting statistics, Kansas voters have done a tremendous job in planning how they are going to cast their ballot in the November election,” said Secretary of State Scott Schwab. “For those who have yet to vote, we encourage you to get out and vote on Tuesday.”
As of Thursday, October 29, 2020, there have been 506,767 advance by mail ballots sent to Kansas voters. Comparatively, 194,505 ballots were sent to Kansas voters for the 2018 general election and 202,138 advance by mail ballots were mailed during the 2016 general election. To date, 346,489 advance by mail ballots have been returned to local election offices, compared to 109,351 in the 2018 general election and 125,544in the 2016 general election. Party affiliation of the returned advance by mail ballots are as follows: 231,033 democrats, 189,845 republicans, 2,606 libertarian, 83,269 unaffiliated.
Kansas voters have until noon on Monday, November 2, to advance vote in-person. As of Thursday, October 29, voters had cast 220,908 advance in-person ballots. Of those, 126,240 were by registered Republicans, 52,946 were cast by registered Democrats, 1,824 by registered Libertarians and 39,898 unaffiliated voters. For the 2018 general election 154,823 advance in-person ballots were cast. For the 2016 general election 198,722 advance in-person ballots were cast.
In light of COVID-19, Kansas voters are encouraged to be safe and follow the recommended safety protocols of health professionals. Voters should expect increased distance between voting booths, greater distance in interactions with election workers and frequent sanitizing of election equipment. No voter will be turned away for wearing, or not wearing, a mask. Although state law requires Kansas voters to show photo ID when casting a vote in-person, pursuant to Executive Order 20-66, voters may use driver’s licenses or identification cards that have expired on or after March 12, 2020 for the general election.
The Secretary of State’s office reminds the public that election results are unofficial until certified by local and state election boards. Due to enhanced COVID-19 safety precautions and historically high advance voting numbers, election returns may be delayed on the evening of the general election.