voting | KCUR

voting

Brandon Reid remembers watching Barack Obama win the presidential election from his living room couch in 2008. 

Most of his friends had gone to the polls that day to vote in what became a historic election. But Reid, who was in and out of prison because of drugs, couldn’t vote. He was on criminal supervision at the time. He missed the 2012 presidential election for the same reason. 

“If you don’t have the right to vote, of course, you are going to know about it, right? You see it on the news. It’s voting day. You want to be a part of it,” Reid said. 

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?

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach agreed to legal sanctions to resolve a disciplinary complaint about his conduct in a voting rights case he lost last year.

As part of the resulting diversion agreement made public Monday, Kobach admitted that he did not properly supervise lawyers and others on his staff while contesting a lawsuit that challenged how he carried out a new voter ID law.

BigStock Images

Voters in Wyandotte County will decide on Nov. 5 whether they want to see a change of hands on the Unified Government Board of Commissioners. 

In this election, voters will select commissioners, representatives for the Board of Public Utilities and board members of USD 500 Kansas City, Kansas, public schools. Early voting starts Saturday.

Voting systems in the United States have come a long way since the hanging chads of the 2000 recount in Florida — but now cybersecurity is as big a concern as ballot fidelity.

Here's what you need to know.

The good news

Segment 1: Candidates for the Kansas City's 3rd District debate for Councilman Jermaine Reed's seat.

We asked candidates Melissa Robinson and Joey Thomas their thoughts on affordable housing, development east of Troost and how to improve community policing.

GARDEN CITY — In the 1940s and ’50s, people of color couldn’t use the public swimming pool here. If they went to the movie theater in Garden City, Hispanic patrons could only sit in the balcony.

A few generations later, Garden City School Board member Tim Cruz served on the city commission and as mayor. He played a role in dealing with leaks in the city’s swimming pool, known as The Big Pool.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was growing frustrated with the limits of his office when it came to investigating voter fraud or election law violations. So, he gave lawmakers a choice.

A few days before the November midterm election, Alejandro Rangel-Lopez turned 18.

But before he cast that first ballot, local election officials moved Dodge City’s only polling location from the relatively convenient center town to its outskirts.

The move caused confusion, drew national criticism and raised questions about voting access governed by white elected officials in a town where nearly two-thirds of the population is Latino.

FILE PHOTO / Kansas News Service

Former Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach rewrote the rules for voting in Kansas. Laws he pushed for required voters to show citizenship papers to register and ID at the polls. He secured prosecutorial powers for his office. 

Kobach’s term only ended a couple weeks ago, but some cornerstones of his legacy are already starting to crumble.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

When a ban might not be a ban

Legislators set out this year to make telemedicine more practical in Kansas. They drafted a law that would force insurance companies to pay for some services offered over video hook-ups the same way as in-person visits.

But that bill became controversial when anti-abortion forces added language that seemed to stop a physician from administering drugs, over telemedicince links, intended to trigger a medical abortion.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Read her lips

A month away from becoming the next governor of Kansas, Democrat Laura Kelly says she’s deep into budget preparation.

Although she’s been as steeped in the workings of state government as any Kansas wonk during her 14 years in the state Senate, the Topekan says agencies find themselves in worse repair than she imagined.

“The problems are broad,” she said, “and they’re deep.”

KCUR 89.3 file photo

Missouri saw its highest turnout for the November midterm election in 20 years, and is one of only 12 in the U.S. that doesn’t have a form of no-excuse absentee voting.

Kansas City Democratic Sen. Lauren Arthur is looking to change that in the next legislative session. Her measure is one of several bills that were prefiled ahead of the 2019 legislative session to deal with the state’s election and initiative petition processes.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

It’s a family thing

An order issued by Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer now offers paid parental leave to about 17,000 state workers to cover their time off with a newborn or newly adopted child.

Colyer, a lame duck Republican, said in a statement issued on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday that he made the change to recognize the importance of children and families in the state.

Male in short-sleeved blue shirt wearing headphones and seated in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1:  Former DESE commissioner says, "the decison to bring me back needed to be about doing what's best for the children in the state of Missouri."

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Moved how many times?

One boy. In the care of the state since 2012. Shifted from one foster placement to the next. One hundred thirty times.

A lawsuit filed Friday argues cases like that — 130 was an extreme case, but more than 100 moves in Kansas foster care is not wildly unusual — show the system is operating so poorly it violates the constitutional rights of children.

In particular, it contends so many moves heap more trauma onto children already in crisis and that too many kids don’t get the mental health screening they should.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

More beds or more services

Legislators heard Wednesday that Kansas either needs to improve a range of services for the mentally ill or to be prepared to more than double the number of psychiatric beds available. Or both.

Today, the state offers 258 slots in mental health hospitals. Madeline Fox reports that’s down from more than 1,000 beds in 1990. A report from January says the state needs 300 more.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Arem Mohammed's white tuxedo flashed as bright as his smile while he sang the national anthem for the first time as a U.S. citizen Wednesday at a naturalization ceremony at the central branch of the Kansas City Public Library in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas Midterm Election Results 2018

Nov 6, 2018
Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

The general election in Kansas will determine who is governor, who holds the other statewide offices, the control of the Kansas House and who the state sends to the U.S. House.

The results below for contested statewide, legislative and congressional races are unofficial.  Keep checking throughout the evening and Wednesday morning for updates.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Vote Kansas

It’s the day that will launch a million Thanksgiving arguments. For now, it’s time to cancel out the vote of your brother-in-law.

RideKC

Kansas Citians that don't have a way to get to the polls on Election Day can look to public transportation and ride-sharing companies for free or discounted rides to the polls.

Offering free and discounted transportation to polls has become one effort of many to increase voter turnout on Election Day.

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.

Protecting Your Vote

Nov 5, 2018

On the day before the midterm elections, we discuss the process of voting and how to ensure your vote is protected. Plus, a look at two recent episodes of My Fellow Kansans covering gubernatorial candidates Kris Kobach and Laura Kelly.

Guests:

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Waiting for Godot, um, JoCo

The Kansas county with the most voters and the most money has also made its name as the state’s election night slowpoke.

Johnson County results have come in reaaaaaaally slowly in recent years.

When it happened in the last election cycle, county elections boss Ronnie Metsker blamed old machines. After the county spent big on new machines, Johnson County was again the last place to report its results in the August primary. An Omaha-based elections software company took the blame.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3 file photo

On a recent Thursday morning, there was non-stop foot traffic at the Johnson County Election Office in Olathe. The usually barren parking lot was full, and the poll worker at the door barely had seconds to spare between greetings as he ushered people inside.

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.

file photo / Kansas News Service

The election is upon us. Here’s what you need to know.

Advance voting

Advance voting in person ends Monday at noon. For where you should go, check this county-by-county list.

If you are sending in your ballot by mail, the ballot needs to be postmarked by Tuesday — Election Day — and it needs to reach the election office by the Friday after the election. You’re best off double-checking that the postal staff do postmark it.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

The cable guy

President Donald Trump is making noises about issuing an executive order that would undo birthright citizenship in the country. He contends he has the authority, through executive order, to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in the country if their parents are here illegally.

Scott Canon / KCUR/Kansas News Service

Republican Scott Schwab and Democrat Brian McClendon disagree on the most basic of questions about the job they’re competing for, Kansas secretary of state.

Case in point: Is it the secretary’s job to increase voter turnout?

Schwab, a lawmaker of more than 10 years, says no. He says the things that drive voters to the polls lie beyond the secretary’s control — times of war, ailing economies, contested races.

“The secretary of state can’t make people vote and I can’t change people’s hearts,” he said. “All I can do is make sure it’s a good experience when they do go vote.”

McClendon, a former Google vice president from Lawrence, doesn’t buy that.

“The current secretary of state” — Republican candidate for governor Kris Kobach — “has done the opposite,” he said. 

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Vote the heck out of Dodge

The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a temporary restraining order requiring Ford County officials to increase the number of polling places in Dodge City for next Tuesday’s election to two instead of just one.

Pages