Kansas Secretary of State

BigStock Images

Most of us have a week to go before the Big Vote. Kansans can cast their ballots early (and many are doing so), but Missourians have to wait until Nov. 8. For everyone who wants to vote on Election Day, here are some things you need to know:

1. What’s my registration status?

It doesn’t hurt to check before you go.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

If you think there seems to be a lot of early voters this year, you're right. 

In the first week or so of advanced in-person voting, Kansas counties in the metro area are experiencing numbers that suggest records could be broken. 

"I never thought we'd surpass 2008," says Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew. 

That year, when Barack Obama beat John McCain, many precincts across the nation saw historic overall turnout. But this year, Shew and others suspect new early voting benchmarks could be set. 

Wikimedia Commons - CC

Did U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Brian Newby's recently unearthed emails with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach violate federal rules? 

The Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Allied Progress alleges they did and now wants the EAC's Inspector General to dig further into the matter. 

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

The office of Kansas Secretary of State is usually a sleepy, bottom-of-the-ticket office that doesn't draw big attention at election time.

Not this year. Kris Kobach has been a high-profile, stir-it-up secretary of state in his four years in office where he's made cracking down on voter fraud a central concern.

His opponent, Jean Schodorf, is a former 10-year Republican state senator who later switched to the Democratic Party. She calls the way Kobach has handled the office an "embarrassment" to the state.

More than 70 former Kansas lawmakers, all of them Republicans, have endorsed the Democrat in the Secretary of State race.

Traditional Republicans for Common Sense is backing Jean Schodorf, a Democrat, over incumbent Republican Kris Kobach. Founder Jim Yonally, a former state Representative, from Overland Park, says the decision to back Schodorf is partly because Kobach has embraced what Yonally sees as a stridently conservative political agenda.

Yonally says his group draws from generations of moderate Kansas Republican leaders.

The Democrat running against Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach has released her tax records to the media, and she says Kobach should do the same.

Kobach is occasionally in national headlines for his legal work on immigration. At issue is how much time he spends on that work outside his job as secretary of state.

Former state Senator Jean Schodorf from Wichita, has questioned if Kobach spends too much time working on immigration issues. She wants Kobach to provide his tax documents because she says that would prove how he spends his time.

Scott Morgan for Secretary of State / Department of Justice

Primary elections in Kansas and Missouri are one week from today. On the Kansas side, a lot of the action will wait until November but one primary race in particular has gained a lot of attention, more than you might expect. Incumbent Kris Kobach is well known for his work on election and immigration laws. His opponent, Scott Morgan, says that's a big part of the problem.

The American Civil Liberties Union says in a letter that it's ready to go to court over a voter registration law in Kansas.

The law requires people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate. More than 12,000 voter registration applications have been put on hold because of that requirement.

Doug Bonney is with the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. He says the law, which was strongly championed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, puts unnecessary hurdles in front of voters.