elections

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.

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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. 

BigStock image

Update: Nov. 4, 2014   2:30PM

On Election Day, respondents to a new Tell KC query told us their polling places were not well-equipped to help them vote.

Mary-Corinne Corely has cerebral-palsy-like symptoms in her legs due to an illness when she was an infant. Some days, she says, the symptoms make it impossible for her to do steps at all.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Beth Hiller has been a member of the GOP since back when it really was the Grand Old Party, as her daughter says.

Hiller is 97-years-old, born and raised on a Kansas dairy farm, and a lifelong Republican. Her mother and father were Republican. Her husband, John Hiller, was the Shawnee County GOP chair, as well as the Kansas delegate to the U.S. Electoral College.

“Voting in our family was always a big deal,” said Cheryl Logan, Hiller’s daughter. “It was an event. We all hopped in the car, we got to the polling place and it was kind of a social event, too.”

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A Kansas race that is catching attention from political junkies around the country has Kansas City-area voters captivated, too.

That’s according to feedback we heard on social media in response to our Tell KCUR question of the week. We asked, “What’s the most important political race to you in election 2014? Why?

“KS Gov race for sure! Need child advocates,” Alexis Ceule (@AlexisCeule) tells us on Twitter.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Most of the attention this election season has focused on the big Kansas state races — the governor’s seat and U.S. Senate. The latest polls put Democratic and independent candidates within striking distance of Republican incumbents, something that’s almost unheard of in this deep-red state.

In some parts of Kansas, Democrats are hoping to capitalize on discontent with incumbents at the top of the ticket and pick up a few more statehouse seats. Which brings us to the moderate District 25 in northeast Johnson County.

File photo / KCUR

During this election season, are you focusing your voting attention on Congressional seats or local City Council races?

Are any Constitutional amendments more significant to you or do you spend your energy following candidates running for state offices?

Kansas may be under the national spotlight for its governor’s contest, but we know there are a lot of other candidates and issues at stake on both sides of the state line next week on Election Day.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot seeks to drastically revamp teacher tenure based on student performance. 

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would require that teachers' continued employment and pay be based on student performance evaluations and would change teacher contract lengths.

Ballot language:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

Wikimedia Commons

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot could change the way sexual crimes are prosecuted in Missouri.

Constitutional Amendment 2 would allow previous relevant criminal activities to be admissible in court for crimes of a sexual nature against a minor. 

Ballot language:

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Generation Listen KC is a new networking group through KCUR aimed at engaging and connecting with millennial public radio listeners in the Kansas City area.

As part of its Forward Promote series, Generation Listen KC invited Up to Date's Steve Kraske to speak with young voters about the upcoming elections at the group's inaugural event on Wednesday night.

File photo

Former Sen. Bob Dole is campaigning for Pat Roberts in his Senate re-election effort, but on the issue Dole has been most vocal about lately — the U.S. signing on to a United Nations agreement solidifying the rights of people with disabilities — Roberts’ opponent seems more in line with Dole's views.

(ormanforsenate.com)

Greg Orman, the independent candidate running for U.S. Senate from Kansas, is worth between $21.5 million and $86 million, according to a personal finance filing made Monday.

Orman, 45, is Olathe businessman who is running against incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, who is trailing in the most recent poll.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic challenger Paul Davis traded blows at the Kansas State Fair over the weekend as they met for their first formal debate.

It was a packed house in Hutchinson, Kan., in the arena where the debate was held. Before it even started, an energized crowd chanted and cheered. When Davis and Brownback took the stage they hit on some common themes they’ve been repeating on the election trail.

Wikimedia Commons -- CC

A Wednesday shake-up in Kansas politics even has seasoned pundits amazed. 

Chad Taylor, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, has withdrawn from the race, leaving Kansas Republican Pat Roberts facing his toughest political test in decades.

Steve Kraske, host of Up To Date on KCUR and Kansas City Star political commentator, says the change spells bad news for the incumbent.

"Pat Roberts is suddenly in very deep trouble in Kansas," Kraske says. "His polling numbers have not been good. He was ahead only because he was in a three-way contest."

Rama / Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday's voting results provided some interesting outcomes. A relatively-unknown challenger gave incumbent Sam Brownback a run for his money. The proposed expansion of the Kansas City streetcar tax district supported by Mayor Sly James was voted down.

Today on Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with with Political Pundits Burdett Loomis and Dave Helling to divine the messages voters were sending about the candidates and issues on state and local ballots.  Then Mayor James joins Steve for his thoughts on the future of the streetcar in Kansas City.

Guests:

(Kristopher Husted/Harvest Public Media)

Missouri’s so-called “Right to Farm” amendment appears to have passed Tuesday but with such a small margin that there could be a recount.

With all precincts reporting, Amendment 1 won by just 2,528 votes.

At a victory party Tuesday night, Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst said he will watch to see if a recount is requested but he doesn’t expect the results to change.

“I’m fully confident that the vote will stand,” he said.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback fended off a primary challenge Tuesday, but not by the margins his supporters would have liked.  

Brownback won 63 percent of the vote, but his opponent Jennifer Winn, a first-time politician running on a platform to legalize marijuana, inspired by a murder charge against her son. Her son was trafficking pot when he was killed.  

Winn took two rural counties. Some observers call that showing bad news for the tax-cutting Governor, but he says he’ll win the general election defining Democratic challenger Paul Davis with the ‘L’ word —both of them.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo., voters south of the river said no Tuesday to a plan that would have created a new taxing district to expand the city's streetcar line.

Only 40 percent of voters supported a plan that would have laid eight more miles of track to the east of the downtown starter line and added new bus service along Prospect.

"I think the public has spoken fairly distinctly," Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James told streetcar supporters Tuesday evening. "The loss tonight stings a little bit, but then again, this isn't the first time rail has lost in this city."

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