voters | KCUR

voters

Segment 1: Kansas' 2020 Democractic presidential primary will will work a little differently this year.

The 39 Democratic delegates in Kansas aren't up for grabs until May 2, but the voting process will look different from a traditional caucus. Voters this year will participate in a rank-choice system, in which Democrats will rank their top five candidates.

Justice Horn

Turnout among younger voters so far in the Democratic presidential primary contest has been lower than expected. Still, many college students in the Kansas City area are gearing up for their chance to cast ballots not only on Tuesday, in Missouri’s primary, but beyond into November.

Here is what some young voters are thinking about the state of the 2020 presidential contest and what the results could mean for their future.

Their comments have been edited for clarity and length:

Justice Horn, 21

Segment 1: Is it time for voters to select Johnson County's election commissioner? 

In the four most populous counties in Kansas voters do not select their election commissioner. Johnson County is one of those where the position is filled by appointment by the secretary of state. County commissioners explained why that is, whether that process should continue and what some alternatives would look like.

Segment 1: A Kansas native moderated the last Democratic debate in Iowa.

Brianne Pfannenstiel grew up in Lawrence and got her first job in journalism at the Kansas City Star. Now that she's in a state with a huge voice in this year's election, we wanted to know: How does she feel the Midwest is represented in national discourse today? What does she think of Iowa's role specifically? And, what is it like to moderate a national debate?

Segment 1: Will young voters hold their momentum in 2020?

The youth vote made a difference in the 2018 midterms in Kansas, as well as nationwide. Turnout was way up from 2014. As 2020 elections get closer, what are experts predicting now?

Segment 1: Missouri's new schools performance report is confusing parents and administrators alike.

Two years of identical tests should have provided educators an apples-to-apples comparison, but Missouri's new scoring system is more of an "apples to rainbows" look at progress. The state's move away from easy-to-read percentile scoring was intended to provide more in-depth information, but the result has been hard-to-interpret colorful graphs. Education reporter Elle Moxley translated this latest format and what it means for Kansas City area schools.

Segment 1: Voters will next month determine the fate of the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard name.

Residents displeased with the process of renaming The Paseo petitioned to restore its original name, leaving a heated debate to be settled by voters on November 5. The Rev. Vernon Howard Jr., an advocate for renaming the boulevard after the civil rights leader, says "this issue is also about race," but the group that collected more than 2,000 signatures says they reflect people of all backgrounds who want their voices heard.

Segment 1: 4th District candidates for Kansas City Council.

Kansas City firefighter Geoff Jolley and co-founder of BikeWalkKC Eric Bunch are competing for the 4th District City Council seat vacated by mayoral candidate Jolie Justus. Both look to make the city safer and more responsive to residents, but the top priorities for the 4-year term look different for each.

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.

Post-Midterm Election Reactions

Nov 7, 2018

The day after the 2018 midterm elections, two political science professors join us to talk about who turned out to vote, and how that affected the outcomes. The discussion includes high turnout for young voters, changing rural demographics in Kansas and Missouri, the importance of identity for voters and candidates, and whether Kansas just turned blue as some are claiming, or not. 

A white piece of paper taped on a brick wall. There is a red arrow on the paper with the word 'Voting' inside.
Keith Ivey / Flickr-CC

Segment 1: Listeners tell us what's driving them to the polls this midterm election.

A woman in Missouri says she is voting for checks and balances on the White House. Another says she is voting for her children and the future of our planet. For some, it is their first time voting in a midterm, or voting at all. Today, we heard about the issues and candidates motivating voters to turn out in what could be record numbers.

Segment 1: How do you prepare to vote?

There are a lot more issues on the ballot than you may realize. How do you make sure you have sufficient knowledge of candidates, judges, and amendments before getting to the ballot box? We talk with a local voter who did extensive research and shared her findings on social media, as well as KCUR staff members who put together some resources.