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Elections » Introduction

"Proof of right to vote. The legislature shall provide by law for proper proofs of the right of suffrage."

Constitution of the State of Kansas, Article 5, Section 4

One of the cornerstones of our form of government is the election process. In a democracy, the citizens choose at all levels of government the candidate they believe will best represent their interests and make good decisions on their behalf. While most people focus on the general elections for national and state offices every other year, elections are held for offices at all levels of government almost continuously.

While millions go to the polls, few are aware of the complexity behind elections and the scope of tasks that must occur before, during and after election day. In Kansas, the Secretary of State's Office, in conjunction with 105 county election offices, works for months to prepare for elections, and spends months after election day finalizing the day's results.

Each county election office is responsible for the day-to-day administering of all elections. The Kansas Secretary of State serves as the chief state election official and coordinates with the county election offices on national and state elections. This chapter details the various stages of the election process, including who can vote, how to vote, how political parties come and go, how to run for office, how primary and general elections work, how winners take office, and what makes for secure and fair elections.