elections

US Dept. of Justice

One of the strictest voter ID laws in the country will be under the microscope when the Kansas Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission holds hearings to determine whether the law has suppressed voter turnout in some communities.

The Civil Rights Commission has advisory committees in all 50 states and the Kansas committee voted Tuesday to move forward with its investigation.

The Kansas City, Missouri Election Board has completed its recount of ballots in the recent 4th district at-large city council race, and the results have not changed.

The recount found that former Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields defeated incumbent Jim Glover by 173 votes. A total of almost 33,000 ballots were cast in the race citywide. 

Glover had requested the recount when the first count showed that he had lost by less than one percent of the total vote. The first count had him losing by 132 votes.

Another Republican is jumping into next year’s race for Missouri governor.

Bob Dixon currently represents Springfield and parts of Green County in the Missouri Senate, having first been elected to the 30th District seat in 2010 and re-elected last year. Before that he served four terms in the Missouri House.

The latest campaign-finance report for Attorney General Chris Koster, the only major Missouri Democratic candidate for governor, shows that he continues to outraise his 2016 rivals on both parties.

Koster reports almost $4 million in the bank after raising almost a $1 million during past three months. Both tallies are more than those reported by any of the Republicans – including likely candidate Eric Greitens, who appears to have the most momentum on the GOP side.

Hillary Clinton will make her first visit to Kansas City as a 2016 presidential candidate later this month. The presumptive Democratic front-runner will speak at the National Council of La Raza's annual convention on  July 13. 

NCLR President Janet Murguia, a University of Kansas graduate, said thousands of Latino leaders and activists will be on hand to hear Clinton's address. 

The conference will be held at the Kansas City Convention Center from July 11-14. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The newly elected Kansas City Council features a lot of new blood— six out of the 12 members have never served on the council before. 

In the spirit of getting to know our newly elected council men and women, we asked them — what is the greatest challenge facing Kansas City as you start your term?

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear a case involving voter registration in Kansas and Arizona. The suit requests that the federal voter registration form be changed to require that some people provide documents proving their U.S. citizenship.

Kansas and Arizona already have that requirement on state voter registration forms. A lower court declined to make the change, and the federal registration forms will remain as-is, for now.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James floated to an easy victory over opponent Vincent Lee in Tuesday's municipal election, while Katheryn Shields beat out Councilman Jim Glover in a tight race for the 4th District seat. 

James won with 87 percent of votes, according to unofficial election board results. Despite thoughts that a June election might increase turnout, the opposite turned out to be true: only 13 percent of registered voters in Jackson County cast a vote.

Turnout was even lower in Clay and Platte counties, both of which saw just 8 percent of voters show up to the polls.

As Kansas City, Missouri residents head to the polls today, The Kansas City Star's Lynn Horsley and Steve Kraske discuss what to watch for as the results come in. 

file photos

The Tuesday Kansas City, Missouri City Council election ballot features six races that do not have incumbent candidates.  One of those is for the 5th District At-Large seat, where Lee Barnes and Dennis Anthony square off in their first bids for membership in the city's governing body.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Kansas City Council will look very different after Tuesday's election.

Six current members of the 12-member council will be forced out due to term limits — opening up the body to new and fresh ideas regarding the city's approach to supporting the arts.

HDR, City of Kansas City

In less than a week, Kansas City, Missouri voters will go to the polls to decide on the makeup of their next City Council.

One of the most closely-competitive races is for the the Northland's 2nd District At-large seat now held by Ed Ford, who is not seeking re-election because of term limits.

Running for the 2nd District seat is Teresa Loar, former two-term City Council member and two-term member of the North Kansas City School Board, who says she has lived in the northland for almost 50 years.

With  city council elections fast approaching, two candidates for the 2nd District At-large seat face off on this edition of Up to Date.

Guests:

  • Teresa Loar is the former two-term City Council member and two-term member of the North Kansas City School Board.
  • Jay Hodges served as the senior advisor for economic development and public safety in Mayor Sly James' administration.
Cody Newill / KCUR

In 2014, more Kansas City voters over the age of 90 showed up to the polls than those under the age of 30 did, according to a voter analysis by civic engagement group mySidewalk. But there are a few groups in town that are trying to change those numbers.

The Raucous Caucus event at the Barney Allis Plaza Friday brought together city council members, hopeful candidates and dozens of millennials to talk about the issues in the coming municipal election. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council elections are fast approaching, and several of the races look to be closely contested.

One of those is in the 4th district, where former Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields is giving incumbent Jim Glover a spirited run.

Both Shields and Glover joined Up To Date host Steve Kraske at the KCUR studios to discuss some of the city's most pressing issues.

Two seasoned politicians go head-to-head on this edition of Up To Date, leading up to this month's elections. 

Guests:

  • Jim Glover is currently serving as Councilman for the 4th District At-large. 
  • Katheryn Sheilds is the former Jackson County Executive and is challenging Glover for the 4th District seat. 
Rama / Wikimedia Commons

Updated Wednesday, 9:21 a.m.:

According to the Jackson County Election Board's unofficial results for Tuesday's municipal election, Independence's levy increase passed with 64 percent approval and Lee's Summit's bond issue passed with nearly 80 percent approval.

The original post begins here:

Transit advocate Clay Chastain, left, Mayor Sly James, and Vincent 'The General' Lee take questions at a League of Women Voters mayoral candidate forum.
Elle Moxley / KCUR

All three candidates in the race for Kansas City, Mo., mayor answered questions at a League of Women Voters forum Tuesday Night.

Mayor Sly James will face challengers Clay Chastain and Vincent Lee in the primary April 7. 

James has more than $400,000 in campaign contributions on hand, a virtually limitless war chest when Chastain and Lee only reported "limited activity" to the Missouri Ethics Commission, which by law indicates less than $500 in spending.

Chastain's name will be familiar to voters because of his failed light rail initiatives, including one last summer he contends James and others in City Hall effectively killed when they required a change in ballot language.

The Associated Press reports that a federal grand jury is investigating loans to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign.  

The loans in question were most likely from Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. Colyer loaned the Brownback  campaign half a million dollars three separate times, always just before a campaign finance report was due.  On at least two occasions the campaign paid the money back days later.  

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

As the future of our country, millennials have not distinguished themselves as a group vitally enthusiastic about participating in the electoral process.

Last week's mid-term elections proved to be no exception with young people turning out in significantly lower numbers than older voters.

Seventeen-year-old Ricardo Gonzales, a senior at Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kan., blames part of the apathy on grown-ups who talk down to teenagers.

He said he's been told not to take elections seriously until he's of voting age.  He believes that's a mistake.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Following the strong Republican wins in Kansas elections this week, some people are trying to determine what drove the wave of victories for Republicans. Sen. Pat Roberts and Gov. Sam Brownback both won their races, but many polls before the election showed them neck-and-neck with their challengers or losing.

About 35 percent of Missouri voters took part in Tuesday’s midterm elections, according to Secretary of State Jason Kander. That’s about 1.5 million of the state's 4 million registered voters.

Knox and Schuyler counties in northeast Missouri and Worth County in northwest Missouri had the largest turnout.

Missouri sent its two only Democratic house members, Lacy Clay in St. Louis and Emanuel Cleaver in Kansas City, back to Washington.

Voters also approved two of four ballot amendments last night:

In Johnson County, Republicans celebrated big wins Tuesday in Kansas and across the country.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder celebrated his victory just as news broke in Topeka about one of Kansas' big-ticket races.

“Today we have re-elected our United States Senator and statesmen in Washington D.C., Pat Roberts,” Yoder said. 

Yoder says Roberts’ win proves pundits were wrong about Independent Greg Orman. He says Kansas has done its part to ensure a Republican majority in both houses of Congress.

WATCH: Greg Orman Concedes Kansas U.S. Senate Race

Nov 4, 2014

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Incumbent Pat Roberts held on to his U.S. Senate seat Tuesday after besting Independent Greg Orman.

It was a surprisingly easy win for Roberts after a bruising battle to keep a place in Washington he's had for three decades.

Roberts made his victory speech at the Republican watch party in Topeka.

"We said for months the road to a Republican majority in the United States Senate lead through Kansas and we did it," said Roberts.

With all precincts reporting, Roberts beat Orman 53 percent to 43 percent.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Gov. Sam Brownback was re-elected as Kansas governor by a narrow margin Tuesday night after a tough campaign against Democratic challenger Paul Davis.

Brownback took a majority in crucial Johnson and Sedgwick counties, giving the Republican the edge over Davis, who ended up with 47 percent of the vote. Brownback landed 49 percent of the vote, and 4 percent went to Libertarian candidate Keen Umbehr.

"What a night!" Brownback exclaimed as he thanked supporters for the win. "Paul Davis ran a great race ... that State Fair debate is not one I will soon forget."

It’s still early to have much except anecdotal turnout numbers, but we are hearing back from people about their voting experiences.

Pretty uniformly, early voters are saying they've experienced a robust voting electorate. Some said they waited up to 30 minutes in line.

Jeffrey Benes told us when he voted in Westwood, Kan., at 7:10 a.m., he waited 20 minutes.

"It was good to see so many people turning out to vote," Benes said, "but I don't believe it is emblematic of the whole."

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

KCUR and KCPT's Hale Center for Journalism partnered to bring you live digital coverage of the 2014 midterm elections in Kansas and Missouri through a live blog.

Below is our compete live blog from beginning to end, just in case you want to live election night 2014 all over again.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Turnout for midterm elections typically lags behind turnout in a presidential election year, and this year appears to be no exception.

On the Kansas side, Secretary of State Kris Kobach estimates somewhere around 50 percent of the Kansas registered electorate will vote. That's slightly more than the average low to mid 40 percent who typically turnout for mid-terms.

The U.S. attorney for Kansas, Barry Grissom, says his staff will be available Tuesday to respond to any reports of election fraud or voting rights violations. Grissom isn't expecting problems, but he says with close races on the ballot they need to be prepared for any issues. 

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