Student Voting Guide | Kansas

August 15, 2014

This student voting guide explains the laws for the state of Kansas.  If you wish to vote from your school address, check the student voting guide for the state in which you attend school. If you are interested in casting an absentee ballot in your home state, check the student voting guide for that state.

The Brennan Center is committed to giving students as much information as possible to help you exercise your constitutional right to vote. More than ever in recent history, changes to voting laws are being implemented in ways that can affect your ability to make your vote count. In addition to the content you will find in this Student Voting Guide, we continue to track passed and pending voting law changes here. While we are working to give you up-to-date information, we urge you to be proactive! In order to ensure you have all the information you need before casting your vote, you should also check with your state and local election officials for information about additional requirements or regulations.

This voting guide was last updated August 15, 2014.

Registration

Registration forms are available for download here.  Online registration is available here for eligible voters with a Kansas driver’s license or a nondriver’s identification card.

The voter registration deadline is 21 days before Election Day, and if you mail your form, it must be postmarked by that date.[1]  In Kansas, you are able to register to vote if you will be 18 by the next general election,[2] but you cannot vote in an election before you turn 18.[3]  

You can register in person, by mail, through a voter registration agency, or by other delivery to a county election officer.[4] You can also register to vote online if you have a Kansas driver’s license or a Kansas nondriver’s identification card. 

Proof of Citizenship

As of August 2014, Kansas has adopted a dual voter registration system. Under this system, if you register to vote using the state’s voter registration form, you will have to provide documentary proof of citizenship and will be permitted to vote in elections for both state and federal office. If you register to vote using the National Voter Registration Form, you will be permitted to vote only for federal offices. Acceptable citizenship documentation includes a birth certificate, United States passport, naturalization documents, and Bureau of Indian Affairs cards, among other forms.[5] If you were registered to vote in Kansas prior to the implementation date of January 1, 2013, you are not required to resubmit evidence of citizenship.[6] Proof of registration from another state is not a sufficient form of United States citizenship.[7]

Residency

In Kansas, your voting residency is determined by the address to which you intend to return after being away.[8]  For many years, Kansas law has recognized that people have the right to change their residency address, either temporarily or permanently.[9] Intent to become a resident of Kansas is the key factor in establishing residency.[10]

At School. Students should have no trouble establishing voting residency in Kansas if they have a present intention to remain at their Kansas school address for the time being and they intend to make it their principal home.[11] Any other interpretation of the residency laws is unconstitutional. Voting in Kansas may be a declaration of residency, potentially making you subject to other laws that govern state residents.

At Home. Students who lived in Kansas prior to attending school and who wish to establish or keep voting as a Kansas resident (i.e., from their parents’ Kansas address) should be able to do so, unless they have already registered to vote in another state. Kansas allows students to keep their voting residency even if they move out of the county or state to attend school. The only way you will lose this residency is if you “abandon” it by asserting residency in a new state. While registering to vote in another state is not automatically considered an abandonment of your Kansas residency, some judges or officials might view it as such. If you have established residency in another state and are moving back to Kansas with the intent to reside here, you will have to follow the normal registration procedures to re-register to vote in Kansas.

Challenges to Residency. If an election official refuses to register you on the basis of your residency, you can challenge that denial “in the district court of the district in which the county election officer is located.”[12] On Election Day, only official poll workers can challenge your eligibility to vote on the basis of your residency.[13] You will be asked to vote by provisional ballot, which may be counted at the discretion of the county board of canvassers.[14]

Identification

All Kansas voters are asked to show photo ID when casting a ballot.[15]  The following forms of identification are valid if the identification has not expired and includes your name and photograph:[16]

  • A driver’s license issued by Kansas, or by another state or district of the U.S.;
  • A state ID card issued by Kansas, or by another state or district of the U.S.;
  • A concealed handgun license issued by Kansas, or a concealed handgun or weapon license issued by another U.S. state or the District of Columbia;
  • A U.S. passport;
  • An employee badge or ID document issued by a municipal, county, state, or federal government office or agency;
  • A military ID issued by the U.S.;
  • A student ID card issued by an accredited postsecondary institution of education in the state of Kansas; or
  • A public assistance ID card issued by a municipal, county, state, or federal government office or agency.

If you are unable to provide a current and valid photo ID at the polls you can vote by provisional ballot.[17] The provisional ballot will only be counted if you bring a current and valid photo ID to the county election officer in person or provide a copy by mail or electronic means before county officially tallies the election results (usually within three or five days after an election).[18]

Absentee Voting

Any Kansas voter may vote absentee through the use of an “advance ballot.”[19] You may apply for an advance ballot either by mail or in person at the election office.[20]   Blank applications are available here.

Your application for an advance ballot must be received, by mail or in person, by the last business day on the week before Election Day (typically, the Friday before Election Day).[21] If applying by mail, you will be asked to provide identification.[22] You can give your current and valid Kansas driver’s license number or nondriver’s identification card number and if you do not have either you can include a photocopy of any other valid photo ID (see above) with your application.[23] Your county election official must receive your completed ballot by the close of polls on Election Day, either in person at county election office or by mail.[24]

Early Voting

You may vote in person at your county election office, or any satellite voting site set up by your county.  While all counties offer early voting starting the Tuesday before Election Day, some counties allow early voting sooner. [25] All voters voting at the polls, whether early or on Election Day, will be asked for Photo ID.[26]

You should contact your local elections office for locations and hours of early voting in your area.

Last Updated August 15, 2014.


[1] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2311(e).

[2] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2306.

[3] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2306.

[4] Kan. Stat. Ann. §25-2309.

[5] Id. Proof of U.S. Citizenship for Voter Registration, Kansas Sec’y of State, http://www.gotvoterid.com/proof-of-citizenship.html (last visited Aug. 1, 2014).

[6] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2309(n)

[7] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2309(o).

[8] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-407.

[9] Parker v. Corcoran, 128 P.2d 999, 1003 (Kan. 1942).

[10]  Id.

[11]  See Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 330 (1972); Williams v. Salerno, 792 F.2d 323, 328 (2d Cir. 1986).

[12] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2322.

[13] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-414(a).

[14] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-409.

[15] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2908(b).

[16] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2908(h); Valid Photo IDs, Kansas Sec’y of State, http://www.gotvoterid.com/valid-photo-ids.html (last visited Aug. 1, 2014).

[17] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2908(d).

[18] Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 25-2908(d); 25-409(b); 25-3104.

[19] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-1122(a).

[20]  Id.

[21] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-1122(f).

[22] Kan. Stat. Ann. §25-1122(c).

[23] Kan. Stat. Ann. §25-1122(c).

[24] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-1132.

[25] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-1122(g).

[26] Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-1122(b).