TOPEKA — Kansas voters will pick candidates for their party’s presidential nomination Tuesday, departing from the state’s typical caucus system for the third time in history to vote in one of the first milestones of the 2024 election.

The primary comes at a tense political moment, with President Joe Biden facing off against former President Donald Trump for the presidential seat. The two front-runners already secured enough delegates to lock in their party nominations in earlier state primaries, but Kansas results will still provide data on candidate popularity.

The state-run Kansas presidential preference primary is the first one held in decades, with the other two occurring in 1980 and 1992. State lawmakers, who said the format would lead to higher voter turnout, last year authorized the $5 million one-time presidential preference primary through House Bill 2053. Unless the Legislature approves similar legislation in the future, the state will return to its traditional caucus system in 2028.

“I am pleased to have four candidates from each major political party file with our office,” said Republican Secretary of State Scott Schwab in a January announcement of candidates. “I encourage Kansans to get out and vote in this historic election.”

Candidates who filed for the Kansas ballot before they suspended their presidential campaigns will remain on the ballot. The Republican ballot includes Trump, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Ryan Binkley of Texas. Haley, DeSantis and Binkley have suspended their campaigns.

Kansas ballots for Democratic primary voters lists Biden, Jason Palmer of Maryland, Dean Phillips of Minnesota and Marianne Williamson of California. Phillips has suspended his campaign. Williamson suspended hers, and then announced in late February that she was un-suspending her campaign.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office reported, more than 35,000 advanced ballots were mailed — 17,075 for Democrats, 18,011 for Republicans. More than 20,000 had been returned — 9,580 by Democrats, 10,857 by Republicans.

Another 25,000 votes were cast in person — 8,954 by Democrats, 15,640 by Republicans.

In-person advance voting ended at noon Monday. The statewide primary election is scheduled for August with a general election scheduled for November.