JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — Registered voters in Johnson County are getting the chance to vote ahead of Election Day with advance voting.
The Johnson County Election Office opened its doors early due to the growing crowd. In that crowd, there was a first-time voter.
"It's exciting," said Alex Juarez, a first-time voter. "Actually, kind of been looking forward to this since I don't know...middle school really."
Cheryl Parrette-Smith said she has voted in every election since 1974 and said she was voting early to make sure her vote counts.
"The times are uncertain, and I am not sure what it's going to be like in November," Parrette-Smith said. "So, I said let me do this now and early."
The Johnson County Election Office has 10 early voting locations, which opened at 9 a.m. Saturday. Three of the sites are new as officials expect "historic voter turnout."
Voters can cast their ballots early at the following locations:
- Oak Park Mall (former American Girl Store) 11149 West 95th Street, Overland Park
- Overland Park Convention Center 6000 College Blvd, Overland Park
- Olathe Indian Creek Library 16100 W 135th St, Olathe
- Arts and Heritage Center at 8788 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park
- Hilltop Conference Center at 7700 W 143rd St, Overland Park
- Johnson County Election Office at 2101 E Kansas City Road, Olathe
- Johnson County Northeast Offices at 6000 Lamar Ave, Mission
- Johnson County Sunset Office Building at 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe
- New Century Fieldhouse at 551 New Century Pkwy, Gardner
- Okun Fieldhouse at 20200 Johnson Dr, Shawnee
The three new spots are the Overland Park Convention Center, Olathe Indian Creek Library and the former American Girl store in Oak Park Mall.
Johnson County Election officials are hoping voters take advantage of advance voting to “to avoid crowds and long lines on Election Day," said Johnson County Election Commissioner Connie Schmidt.
"They can go to any one of them that they want to. That's the best part of in-person early voting. They can pick their location, pick their time a day. We are opening the Overland Park Convention Center over in the I-435 corridor. That covenant place for people who are working, they can go there during their lunch hour," said Schmidt.
While the lines might be long, several people said they will wait as long as it takes because being able to vote is an honor.
"I want to make sure I continue to do my part to provide a legacy for them and to honor my parents and grandparents and all those folks for what they went through for me to have this opportunity," said Parrette-Smith.
Advance voting began at 9 a.m. on Saturday and goes until 3 p.m.
At least 100 people are in line at the Johnson County Election Office waiting to vote. Polls don’t open for another 30 minutes. This is one of ten locations across the county. #kspolls #vote @41actionnews pic.twitter.com/alHyh8GoNE— Jordan Betts (@JordanBettsTV) October 17, 2020
Ballot boxes are open 24/7. They will close at 7 p.m. on Election Day.