By Mariah McGarraugh / Staff writer

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to voting. Usually, the topic of voting will bring up the argument of whether or not you should and how important it is.

There’s always the third issue that doesn’t get brought up as often – how do you vote in American elections? How do you sign up? Sure you can fill out a form online, but what does that mean and what can you do with it?

First and foremost, Kansas does not offer same-day voter registration. Citizens have to register at least 21 days before the election which anyone can do online, by mail, or in person. In Kansas, that registration deadline to vote this year is Oct. 18.

To register to vote online, citizens have to have a valid Kansas driver’s license or state-issued identification. After registering, you should get confirmation via mail. It can take a few days, up to a few weeks. If someone is not sure whether you’re registered, they can go to to check the status and see where the polling places are.

The main voting location for Hutchinson is the Meadowlark Building, located on the Kansas State Fairgrounds.

Make sure to always bring a state-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, to vote. Kansas state law requires voters to show photographic identification when casting a vote in person.

What should someone expect when going to vote?

Voters can expect to state your legal name, provide an ID or driver’s license, state the home address, and sign the poll book. After that, they will receive a ballot and go to a voting booth or to an electronic machine to vote. Then the ballot is cast.

Now, when do you vote and what for?

The primary election is held on the first Tuesday in August of even-numbered years for Democratic and Republican candidates. Voters in Kansas must be registered to one party or the other to participate in those primaries. The general election is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Polling places open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., by state law. Voters who have not cast a ballot by 7 p.m. but are in line at the time can still vote.

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