What you need to know about early voting in Kansas - KCTV5 News

What you need to know about early voting in Kansas

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Record turnout is expected, but voting early can spare you from having to wait in line on election night. (AP) Record turnout is expected, but voting early can spare you from having to wait in line on election night. (AP)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Early voting starts on Monday in Kansas and election officials say they need those early birds, so here's what you need to know.

It’s a presidential year, so you can expect huge numbers to turn out at the polls. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead this year.

In Johnson county, 2,500 election judges have been busy training. However, they don’t have until Election Day on Nov. 8 to be ready – they have until Oct. 24.

“This is going to be an epic election year,” said Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker. “It's a presidential election and, to boot, it is an open seat presidency. There is no incumbent. That's when you have the highest possible voter turnout. That's what we're expecting.”

With an open seat and the most contentious campaign we’ve seen in recent history, it seems the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has lit a fire under voters.

The last time there was an open seat for president eight years ago, there were 364,000 registered voters in Johnson County. When president Obama ran for reelection four years ago, there were 383,000. This year, Johnson County has reached an all-time high of 400,000.

“We're expecting 80 percent turnout,” Metsker said. “That's 320,000. So we need at least 50 percent of the voters to vote early.”

Missouri, on the other hand, doesn’t have advance voting. If you live there, you’ll have to make a smart choice about when to show up on Election Day.

“I can guarantee from 6 o'clock until about 8 o'clock, there's going to be long lines,” said Bob Nichols, the Democrat Director of Elections for Jackson County, Missouri. “If you have to vote during those times, expect to stand in a line. How long those lines will be, I don't know. How long you'll have to wait, I don't know.”

“Stay away from early morning, late afternoon and evening, and lunch time,” Metsker advised.

But if you live in Kansas and want to avoid the chaos on November 8, remember that you have an option.

“People can come and vote early and have virtually no wait whatsoever,” Metsker said.

There are 6 early voting locations in Johnson County that will be open Monday through Saturday until Nov. 6: The Okun Fieldhouse (Shawnee), JoCo Northeast Offices (Mission), JoCo Arts and Heritage Center (Overland Park), Hilltop Campus – Blue Valley (Overland Park), JoCo Sunset Building – Room 1055 (Olathe), and the JoCo Election Office (Olathe).

You can also cast your ballot by mail. To do that, applications must be received by Nov. 4 and returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

For more information on voting in Johnson County, click here.

For more information on voting in Wyandotte County, click here.

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