Though early, in-person voting began yesterday for many counties in the state, Geary County was not among them.
Geary County Clerk Rebecca Nordyke was unsure exactly when in-person voting would be able to begin for Geary County.
"By law, we are not required to until Oct. 27,” she said. "I will do it as soon as we can get it up and running.”
Nordyke said she believed her office would be able to begin in-person voting start some time today, but she was uncertain whether or not it would.
Wednesday, she said, her office still had between 1,800 and 1,900 ballots to mail out.
"So that's what we're working on — wrapping that mailing up today,” Nordyke said. "And then we'll be able to transition into the in-person. We are taking people's phone numbers if they want to be contacted about early voting, and we have well over 100.”
She believes when in-person voting begins, her office will be inundated with people casting their ballots.
"I'm sure for every person that asked to be called, there's lots of other people out there just waiting for the announcement that hasn't contacted us,” she said. "So we expect that to be pretty brisk.”
Tuesday was the last day to register to vote before the general election Nov. 3. For the last few days, eligible Geary County voters have been in and out of the clerk's office to register. Nordyke was uncertain as to exactly how many people had come through her office to register Tuesday, but said there had been “a lot of people” who chose to register on the deadline day and in the days leading up to the deadline.
“We've been receiving 100-plus voter registration cards every day for days,” Nordyke said. "And it just takes a while to get those answered. So we don't have counts of stuff that comes in by the day.”
The clerk’s office is busy, she said, trying to meet deadlines associated with the election.
"We're just busy trying to, you know, meet the deadlines that we have with getting everything out,” she said. "
To have a ballot mailed to them, voters must fill out an application correctly and turn it in to the clerk’s office by Oct. 27.
To return a mail ballot, voters can mail a completed ballot back to the clerk’s office, deliver the completed ballot in-person to the clerk's office at 200 E. Eighth St. directly to Nordyke’s office or via a ballot box outside the office, or — on election day only — to their designated polling place.
Nordyke said she hopes people who are eligible to vote choose to do so.
“Every vote matters,” she said. “It doesn't matter what your status is in life — anything about what your status is in life — voting is the great equalizer, in my opinion ... maybe somebody thinks their vote doesn't count for a particular race and things get lost in huge numbers, for instance, with the presidential race when there's millions of votes cast, you know, you're also choosing your local leaders that are going to Topeka, the people right here in Geary County. So, I just think it's important that people recognize that and that they use their voice to be able to try to get the person elected that they think most, you know, (represents) them."
The clerk's office has released the exact times and dates people will be able to cast an advance ballot.
They are as follows:
Thursday, October 15 & Friday October 16 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Monday, October 19 - Friday, October 23 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 24, 2020 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Monday, October 26 – Friday, October 30 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 31 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Monday, November 2 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Voters need to remember to bring their photo IDs with them. The office is located at 200 E 8th Street, Junction City.
Please call 785-238-3912, if you have questions.