Kansas City Elections Board Expects Smooth Voting April 5
An earnings tax question tops the ballot in Kansas City April 5, and the Kansas City Elections Board says voting will be quick. But some waited in line for hours March 15 to vote in Missouri's presidential primary. After, the elections board was apologizing for technical glitches that came with an over-sized turnout.
During the primary, there was a problem with the electronic tablets that have been used in Kansas City for the last couple of years to check in voters. Shawn Kieffer, Republican Director of Elections, says it should take just 10 to 15 seconds to look up a voter with their voter card, utility bill, or ID.
“By the end of the day it was taking two-minutes plus to load a voter up in the system," Kieffer says.
With a better than 32 percent turnout, more than 68,000 votes were cast in Kansas City March 15. That's more than five times as many as the last presidential primary in 2012, when the turnout was barely over 6 percent.
“All the activity, it sort of exposed how our database wasn’t properly optimized,” Kieffer says.
The elections board thinks they’ve fixed that; searches have been tweaked, and the check-in tablets tested and re-tested.
“They’re running very quickly, probably the best they’ve ever been.”
Kieffer says all voters will have to worry about for April 5 is how they want to vote.
The next big test for the voting system will be the Aug. 2 primary, when candidates for governor and Congress will be among those on the ballot.
Amy Jeffries is the Kansas Elections Editor at KCUR 89.3.