Elections

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 10 a.m. Nov. 9 with results from Johnson County.

Democrats gained enough Kansas House seats in Tuesday’s election to form a coalition with moderate Republicans to pass or block right-wing legislation.

But any such coalition will be more tenuous in the Senate after Democrats gained just one seat there.

Gov. Sam Brownback and conservative Republican allies have controlled the legislative agenda since moderate GOP leaders were purged from the Senate in 2012.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Updated 3:47 p.m., Wednesday

A “huge influx” of advance mail ballots and voters newly registering or changing their registration before the election combined to delay the county’s election results until early Wednesday afternoon, Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker said.

“We were overwhelmed with the turnout of the voters in almost every step of the way in this election,” Metsker said in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “It was almost as unique in Johnson County as it was in other parts of the country.”

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley, a Democrat, conceded the race for Missouri Attorney General to her Republican opponent Josh Hawley late Tuesday night.

"We have a future that we know is not how we intended it to come out," Hensley told about 40 people at the at the Pipefitters Union Hall in south Kansas City. "But we can't stop working for what we believe in."

Kansas Supreme Court

After roughly a million dollars in TV and radio ads plus a blizzard of postcards, the Kansas Supreme Court didn't change one bit with Tuesday's elections.

With a majority of precincts reporting, all four of the justices who had been targeted by the Republican Party, Kansans for Life and other conservative groups comfortably won retention.

YouTube

On a night when Democrats and moderate Republicans in Kansas had some significant wins, the case can be made that Missouri took several steps to the right of its neighboring state.

1. Republicans rule the top of the ticket.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this special elections episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas and Statehouse Blend Missouri, hosts Sam Zeff and Brian Ellison discuss results and us give an idea of where things stand in Kansas and Missouri.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Veteran GOP incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri kept his job Tuesday, riding the Republican wave of winners across the country.

Blunt, 66, easily overcame his Democratic challenger, Jason Kander. Blunt was part of the pack of Republicans racking up wins, including Eric Greitens in the Missouri governor's race and Donald J. Trump in the presidential race.

Blunt met with his supporters at a Springfield hotel where the crowd was chanting "USA! USA!"

Missouri Republicans won big Tuesday, sweeping all statewide offices and putting the party almost totally in charge of the Missouri Capitol beginning in January.

And in part, they have Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to thank. His Missouri coattails of 20 percentage points arguably provided a strong wind at the GOP’s back.

Missouri General Election Results 2016

Nov 8, 2016
apalapala / Flickr-CC

Below are the results for a selection of contested races and measures in the Missouri general election. You can find full results at the secretary of state's website.

Updated 12:40 p.m., Wednesday

U.S. SENATE
All precincts reporting

Roy Blunt (R) - WINNER
Votes: 1,370,240
Percent: 49%

Jason Kander (D)
Votes: 1,283,222
Percent: 46%

GOVERNOR
All precincts reporting

Kansas General Election Results 2016

Nov 8, 2016
KCUR 89.3

Below are the results for a selection of contested races and measures in the Kansas general election. You can find full results at the secretary of state's website.

Updated 9:41 a.m., Wednesday

U.S. SENATE
Precincts reporting: 3,469 of 3,509

Jerry Moran (R)
Votes: 715,354
Percent: 62

Patrick Wiesner (D)
Votes: 367,586
Percent: 32

NPR LIVE BLOG: Election Night 2016

Nov 8, 2016
Gage Skidmore / BU Rob13 / Wikimedia Commons

Today, as results come in across the country, NPR reporters will be updating this breaking news blog in real time. The NPR Politics team, along with member station reporters, will be providing live updates in the form of photo, video, commentary and analysis for both national and local contested races.

KCUR reporters and anchors will also bring elections coverage on-air and through two election results posts for Missouri and Kansas. 

On this Election Day, we hear from listeners about their experiences at the polls. Then, learn how Electionland is bringing together a team of media outlets, including KCUR, in a collaborative effort to inform you on the latest voting issues and problems.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

At the end of the balloting today, the complexion of both the Kansas Legislature and the state’s highest court could be radically different.

There’s less suspense about the top of the ticket, at least as far as Kansas goes. Unlike the razor thin margins in some presidential battleground states, polls show Republican Donald Trump well ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the reliably-red Sunflower State.

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." 

Courtesy of Anna Cole

It's Election Day, which has us thinking about those times in our childhood when we ran for office, or managed our best friend's campaign. Back when things were simpler ... right?

Wrong, says Anna Cole. 

Anzacosf2010 / Wikimedia Commons

Do you get a thrill of wearing your "I Voted" sticker on Election Day? If so, transit officials hope to make it simpler for you to vote Tuesday in the Kansas City metro.

Some 134,000 people voted early in Johnson County, Kansas, already (Missouri doesn't have early voting.)

But for anyone who couldn't vote early, buses from the major four systems in the region will be free all day Tuesday.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

It’s a campaign without ads. There are no TV spots or mailers. The only people voting are the 165 Kansas lawmakers choosing their new leaders.

“Leadership races are the most inside of inside baseball,” says University of Kansas political scientist Burdett Loomis.

Loomis says you almost have to be a legislative nerd to have heard of the candidates for Kansas House speaker or Senate president, but they get to make committee assignments and control the chamber.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3 / File

Missouri's governor race has already seen the most ad spending of any race in America, and the U.S. Senate race between Roy Blunt and Jason Kander has been very competitive. But even though those races have gotten the lion's share of political coverage, initiatives and measures on the ballot in Missouri also could have big impacts.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Just days before the November 8 election, Democratic organizers and elected officials gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, to urge people to keep volunteering and not let down their efforts. 

Saturday's "Nasty Women Unite" rally in downtown Kansas City featured an impressive lineup of speakers — U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, Jackson County Legislator Crystal Williams, and City Councilwomen Jolie Justus and Alissia Canady, to name a few. 

Bill Weld in Kansas City
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the Libertarian party vice presidential nominee, told a rally of 200 people in midtown Kansas City Thursday that only he and his running-mate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, could change Washington.

Calling political paralysis “the elephant and the donkey in the room,” Weld said something needs to be done to reign in the major parties’ hold on power.

KTrimble / Wikimedia Commons

On this year's extensive Missouri ballot, voters will find an item that could reshape the way the state's political campaigns are financed. Constitutional Amendment 2 would place limits on contributions to political parties or campaigns to elect candidates for state or judicial offices in Missouri.

Webmaster102 / Wikimedia Commons

One outcome of the 2016 elections that we know already: the make-up of the Kansas Legislature will be different.

That raises some questions, like this one our Kansas elections coverage team got from Cynthia in Leawood:

Is it possible that Kansas will elect enough moderates to reverse the open carry gun policies in KS, especially on college campuses? Would Brownback veto such a measure?

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

For many Missouri health advocates, an increase in the state’s tobacco tax is long overdue.

At 17 cents per cigarette pack, it’s the lowest in the country by far – a fraction of the tax in many states. And it hasn’t changed since 1993.

Groups like the American Lung Association say Missouri’s low cigarette prices are a major reason the state has one of the highest smoking rates in the country. Twenty-two percent of Missouri adults smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CC0 Public Domain

As Election Day closes in, it's time to get down to brass tacks. 

 

Our collaborative team covering elections in Kansas has been answering your questions, big and small. 

 

Katie in Shawnee has the essential question: 

 

“What’s the best place to find who will be on the ticket for my district, and what’s the best way to look at their platform?”

 

American Psychological Association

On November 8, Missouri voters will decide on Constitutional Amendment 2. If passed, it would limit campaign contributions and, proponents say, the political sway of big-money donors. Also, if you think you're the only one getting stressed out by the presidential election, think again.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

New campaign finance reports are calling into question Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s insistence that he’s not involved in an effort to oust several Kansas Supreme Court justices.

Reports filed this week show that Brownback’s Road Map PAC contributed $65,000 to Kansans for Life in September and October, bringing the total since the first of the year to $110,300.

Kansas City Election Board

OK, Kansas City. It’s time to go online, visit your local election authority’s website, print off a sample ballot and do your research.

Lauri Ealom with the Kansas City Election Board is predicting long, long lines on Tuesday if people aren’t prepared.

That’s because the ballot is 18 inches long.

Front and back.

Courtesy Ry Kincaid

When he debuted his one-man show at Kansas City’s Fringe Festival in the summer of 2015, Ry Kincaid was already thinking ahead to the 2016 election. No one, however, could have foreseen the need for entertaining relief would be so acute.

Unlike everything else in this season’s torturous exercise in democracy, Kincaid’s Presidential Briefs is good-hearted humor. In writing 44 original songs – one for each United States president – all performed in under an hour, Kincaid was partly trying to be helpful.

Mid-Continent Public Library

Mid-Continent Public Library is asking voters in its district in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties to approve a property tax levy to build and upgrade facilities and provide more programs and longer hours.

If approved, Proposition L  would increase property taxes eight-cents per $100. For a household that makes $150,000 per year, this would be a yearly increase of $22.80 per year, and would result in an additional ten million dollars for the library. 

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio/File Photos

Missouri will have a new secretary of state in January, because incumbent Democrat Jason Kander is running for the U.S. Senate. Barring a third-party upset, his successor will be a Republican with a last name very familiar to Missourians, or a Democrat known mainly to St. Louis-area TV viewers. 

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