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Voter Suppression Past & Present | Researching Family Trees

Voters in Topeka fill in their ballots
Stephen Koranda
Kansas News Service
Voter suppression has a long history, according to political scientist Darius Watson, and it's constantly taking new forms, such as the notary requirement for absentee voting in Missouri.

How voter suppression started and the many forms it takes, and interest in genealogy has increased during the pandemic.

Segment 1, beginning at 4:56: Voter suppression could affect the outcome of the upcoming election.

According to analysis from Zippia.com, Missouri and Kansas are among the 10 most difficult states in which to vote. Missouri has strict rules for absentee voting and both states have controversial voter ID laws that many consider a form of suppression.

Segment 2, beginning at 34:11: Searching into one's family genealogy has become a popular pastime during the pandemic.

Many people began to research their family history when quarantining back in March. The Midwest Genealogy Center, a part of the Mid-Continent Public Library, has free resources for those digging into the past and librarians who can help people research their distant relatives.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer and reporter at KCUR Studios, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.