Voter turnout | KCUR

Voter turnout

Segment 1: The voter ID laws enacted in 35 states are inefficient and have little to no impact.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Voters in the Kansas City metro did as many experts expected in the midterm elections: They came out in force.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 / Senator Claire McCaskill / Flickr - CC

The midterm election is just a weekend away. Today, we covered the big races on both sides of the state line and some of the ballot measures Missouri voters are set to decide. In the Show-Me State, Attorney General Josh Hawley has been accused by Sen. Claire McCaskill of innapproriate use of consultants, but were the alleged misdeeds revealed too late to make a difference in the result? Meanwhile in Kansas, the contest between Secretary of State Kris Kobach and state Sen. Laura Kelly remains a virtual tie.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Leading by a neck

Election soothsayer fivethirtyeight.com, the respected outfit run by former New York Times poll analyst Nate Silver, projects that Secretary of Kris Kobach has a two-in-three chance of being the next governor of Kansas.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Bucks from jocks

The University of Kansas is wrestling, as Stephen Koranda puts it, with a $20 million budget cut and whether its well-heeled athletic department might offer a way to make ends meet.

KU’s money shortage follows years of cuts by the Kansas Legislature to higher education.

Ken Zirkel / flickr

Segment 1: Missourians have the choice this November to gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.85 to $12 an hour by 2023.

Can Kansas Citians live comfortably on Missouri's current minimum wage? What would happen to our economy if it were higher? Can small businesses afford to pay more without laying off workers? Today, we discussed the pros and cons for Propositon B, a statewide minimum wage ballot measure.

Segment 1: First time voters share their thoughts on voting in the primary.

We visit with first time voters to find out what their experience voting in the primary elections was like and if the physical experience of voting met their expectations.

Segment 1: New voters are projected to make a huge impact on the upcoming midterm elections. 

First time voters are less likely to affiliate with a political party, which makes them an attractive demographic for politicians from either side of the aisle. We find out how this offset of voters can impact the upcoming midterm election and what issues new voters are interested in. 

File Photo / Kansas News Service

(Daily developments below. Click here to jump to the most recent day's reporting. Or you can click here to read coverage of the contempt hearing that happened on Tuesday, March 20.)

How far must people go to prove they’re really Americans when they register to vote?

Does simply swearing to the fact — at risk of perjury, prison, fines and deportation — protect democracy from non-Americans subverting an election?

Or are cheaters common enough that only documents — say a birth certificate or a passport — go far enough to protect the integrity of the ballot box?

Kansas Local Primary Election August 2017 Results

Aug 2, 2017
Keith Ivey / Flickr-CC

Below are the unofficial results from Tuesday's municipal elections on the Kansas side of the metro area. 

JOHNSON COUNTY

SHAWNEE MISSION SCHOOL BOARD AT LARGE 6

Heather Ousley
Votes: 7,510
Percent: 42%

Mandi Serrone Hunter
Votes: 3,666
Percent: 21%

Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners

A total of about 60,000 Kansas Citians voted in yesterday’s municipal elections, according to turnout figures from election boards. Kansas City voters in Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties approved $800 million in general obligation bonds, a one-eighth cent sales tax for development on the city’s east side and lessened penalties for marijuana possession.

Shawn Kieffer from the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners says he’s disappointed with the 18 percent turnout from Jackson County.

Briana O'Higgins / KCUR 89.3

By 7 a.m Tuesday, the line for voting at All Souls Church in midtown Kansas City had more than 100 people in it.

Numerous other polling places around the metro reported a similar early morning rush, especially in Missouri, where there was no early voting period as in Kansas.

"I was expecting to wait, and I'm glad to wait," said Linda Rives, a voter who waited at All Souls. "Sometimes I come here, and you can walk right in. There's hardly anybody here [other elections], but I'm excited to see such long lines today. It means people are participating." 

file photo / KCUR 89.3

If you think there seems to be a lot of early voters this year, you're right. 

In the first week or so of advanced in-person voting, Kansas counties in the metro area are experiencing numbers that suggest records could be broken. 

"I never thought we'd surpass 2008," says Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew. 

That year, when Barack Obama beat John McCain, many precincts across the nation saw historic overall turnout. But this year, Shew and others suspect new early voting benchmarks could be set. 

With Donald Trump urging supporters to watch for instances of voter fraud, we find out how the Jackson County Election Board ensures fair and free voting. Then, a 1938 Supreme Court ruling forced the University of Missouri Law School to accept black students, or create a separate school for them. The litigant, Lloyd Gaines, disappeared soon after, but his case made history.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansans who register to vote using a federal form at the Department of Motor Vehicles will have to provide proof of citizenship as a lawsuit plays out, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The League of Women Voters and other civil rights groups had sought a preliminary injunction to block such rules in Kansas, Alabama and Georgia.

“Because it’s a barrier to voting,” says Dolores Furtado, the immediate past president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas. “The percentage of eligible registered people that vote is sometimes terrible.”