The start of advance voting is more than five weeks away, and Neosho County election officials have already received more requests for mail-in ballots for the general election than they did for the primary.
As of Thursday, county officials had received 742 requests for mail-in ballots. Voters have until Oct. 13 to register, and in-person advance voting and mail-in voting will begin Oct. 14. The last day to request mail ballots is Oct. 27, and in-person advance voting will take place until noon Nov. 2. The general election is Nov. 3.
Ballots have not been printed yet and cannot be mailed to voters until 20 days before the election. Once filled out, advance ballots postmarked on or before Election Day must reach the county courthouse by Nov. 6, which is the following Friday.
Before the August primary, Neosho County voters requested 655 advance mail ballots, although officials said they usually mail out fewer than 100.
County Clerk Heather Elsworth said they also expect an increase for in-person voting.
“I am looking for additional individuals who are willing to help at polling locations, which pays $10 an hour,” she said.
She said the purchase of new election equipment has been a tremendous help with Election Day efficiency.
“My staff and myself work extremely hard as a team in preparation for the ‘Big Day,’” she said. “We hold several trainings and committees are created to handle specific tasks.”
Neosho County will receive two advance drop boxes from the Kansas Secretary of State office, but the locations have not yet been determined. The clerk’s office in the Neosho County Courthouse in Erie will have a third advance drop box available from 8 am to 4:30 pm weekdays.
Elsworth said they do not plan to purchase any additional boxes through CARES act funding.
Chanute postmaster Charlotte Stout said to receive the Nov. 3 postmark, ballots must arrive before the post office business window closes and should be given to the clerk.
Mail put in the slot after the window closes will receive the next day’s postmark. Stout said technically, items should arrive before 4 pm to be on the truck that leaves at 4:35 pm.
She said that, as a courtesy, clerks check mail from the slot as part of closing the window at 4:30 pm.
Mail accepted at the post office is sorted in Kansas City, Stout said, even letters that are dropped off and delivered through the Chanute office. It returns to Chanute by way of Fort Scott, where it is transferred from one truck to another at the loading dock.
The service standard is two days for delivery. Stout said she has not received any directive to hold the window open later on Election Day, something post offices used to do for late tax filers on April 15.
Links to register and for mail ballots in Spanish are available at the Kansas Secretary of State website sos.ks.gov