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Lines Long for Absentee Voters in Missouri

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – The state of Missouri doesn't allow advance voting, like in Kansas. But election officials in Missouri this year are reporting a 40 percent increase in absentee voting. And hundreds lined up at absentee voting locations on Monday as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

Over the lunch hour at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library, more than 200 people, young, old, some with babies and young children, waited in chairs and stood in line to cast their in-person absentee vote. Some waited for more than three hours like first time voter Ben Cidro who "just became an American citizen (in June 2008) after 8 years of wait."

Bill Rogers says he hasn't seen anything like it in his 15 years as a poll worker. Rogers says, "Absentee voting is usually done by mail and a few come to the satellite location."

Rogers says it's been like this for the past week. And, unlike on Election Day, when people are allowed to vote as long as they make it to the polls before closing, at five o'clock on Monday, the absentee satellite locations are expected to close, even if they have to turn voters away.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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