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Politics, Elections and Government

Kansas City Mayor Says Being Mistaken For 'Lucas Quinton' Points To Larger Issues With Voting

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Aviva Okeson-Haberman
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KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas spoke with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, he had left his polling place without voting when a worker could not find his name in the system.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas made national headlines Tuesday when he tried to vote in Missouri’s presidential primary but was incorrectly told by an election worker that he wasn’t in the system.

Lucas initially attempted to vote on Tuesday morning using a utility bill as his identification, which is acceptable under Missouri law. He was eventually able to vote Tuesday evening using his passport as identification. He said his experience was part of a larger issue with voting and called on Missouri to increase funding for elections and offer mail-in voting.

The error Tuesday morning occurred when a poll worker accidentally mixed up the mayor’s first and last name, entering “Lucas Quinton” into the system, according to Kansas City Election Board Republican Director Shawn Kieffer.

After Lucas posted about the incident on Twitter, KCEB Democratic Director Lauri Ealom apologized and told voters that they could sign a provisional ballot if they had a similar issue.

Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft later criticized Lucas for not exhausting all of his options Tuesday morning, such as filling out a provisional ballot or talking to the polling location’s supervisor.

Ashcroft said Lucas’s tweet could unnecessarily lead to confusion about voter’s ability to cast a ballot.

“I hate the idea of someone in a position like the mayor, that would cause people potentially not to participate in an election by pushing out misinformation,” Ashcroft told KCUR.

Lucas said he frequently uses Twitter to document his activities and this was an effort to show larger issues with voting.

“I'm sure he's a perfectly nice person who absolutely has no idea what my morning was like today. And it's kind of disappointing he would say such a thing,” Lucas told reporters after he voted.

“We spend a lot of time talking about all these conspiracies — all of these deceased voters or undocumented voters,” Lucas said. “What we don't spend enough time in saying is how do we make sure more people vote? ... How do we make sure that we're making it an easier, swifter process for people?”

Aviva Okeson-Haberman is the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter: @avivaokeson.

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