In a recent canvas by the Johnson County Election Office, officials reviewed all the reasons that they had challenged and eventually not counted certain ballots for the Aug. 2 primaries.
The total number was small, less than 1 percent of the 78,653 votes cast.
One upshot of the review: People who vote in advance — as almost a third of Johnson Countians did in the primaries — need to be very careful when filling out the ballots they get in the mail and send back as the Nov. 8 general elections get closer.
Here are some of the reasons ballots were not counted last month — with the hope that people won’t make the same mistake twice.
▪ More than 115 voters weren’t registered. Looking forward, the last day to register to vote in Kansas is Oct. 18.
▪ Another 115 or so voters had incorrect party affiliations changes. They waited too long before the primary to switch to one party or another, then tried to vote in a different party’s primary. This problem does not exist in the general election, in which races are open to all voters.
▪ A total of 28 voters did not provide a photo ID. They voted provisionally, then failed to get a copy of their photo IDs to the election office almost a week later for their ballots to count.
▪ More than 100 signatures did not match a voter’s record. Yes, the county analyzes signatures to determine the validity of mail-in ballots.
Spouses or parents sometimes sign for others, just to make sure a ballot is cast. But the election office rejects those votes, so it’s not worth the effort to try to game the system.
Overall, a small number of voters thought they helped make critical decisions last month but actually didn’t because of problems with their ballots.
It’s a good reminder for Johnson Countians to follow all the rules when voting this fall.