Similar to the August primary election, the November 3 general election saw historic turnout, despite the Coronavirus pandemic. Local election officials did a fantastic job in making additional improvements for the general election to limit the impact of COVID-19 while maintaining the security of Kansas elections and ensuring the health and wellbeing of voters and election workers.
In the 2020 general election, 1,375,125 votes were cast, meaning 70.9 percent of Kansas voters participated. There were 1,938,560 registered voters prior to the 2020 general election. For reference, roughly 1,225,667 registered voters, or 67.4 percent, participated in the 2016 general election.
2020 General Voting Trends
Advance by mail ballots: 459,229
Advance in-person ballots: 371,854
Election Day in-person ballots: 544,042
Historical General Election Statewide Turnout Figures
2016 | 67.4 percent
2012 | 66.8 percent
2008 | 72.3 percent
Historical Voter Statewide Registration Numbers (General Election)
2016 | 1,817,920
2012 | 1,771,252
2008 | 1,749,756
The 2020 elections reaffirmed that Kansas is a voter-friendly state where voters have multiple options for how to cast their ballot safely and securely. Despite historic challenges, local election officials went above and beyond in preparing for, and executing, the 2020 elections. Although adjustments had to be made to protect the safety and welfare of election workers and the electorate, no substantial changes were made to the administration of Kansas elections. Voters were able to vote the same as they have been able to in previous elections - through an advance by mail ballot, advance in-person, or in-person on election day.
Unlike many states which struggled to implement mail balloting for the first time, Kansas' election system has 25 years of experience with mail ballots and has developed the institutional knowledge, procedures, and infrastructure to securely process the anticipated increase in mail ballot use during the 2020 election cycle. The ability to handle the surge in mail-in ballots throughout Kansas in 2020 demonstrates the election system's capabilities to adapt to shifts in how voters cast their ballots.
Kansas voters should be commended for their participation in the 2020 elections. Kansans exercised their right to vote in historic numbers. Voters were proactive in requesting advance by mail ballots and, also, in returning them. Voters who chose to cast their ballot in-person, whether it be through advance voting or on election day, exceeded figures from previous elections. Additionally, Kansans answered the call to action and volunteered to work as poll workers in the 2020 elections. Most Kansas counties reported they met all election worker needs in their respective counties for the first time in several years!