Kansans who register at motor vehicle offices will appear on the regular voter rolls and get standard ballots for the upcoming general elections. 

"If they call and ask if they're registered voters, they should be told that the answer is yes," says Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas. Online, those voters' status will be displayed the same as other registered voters. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Ministers and union leaders rallied Wednesday at Barney Allis Plaza in downtown Kansas City in opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Missourians to show a photo ID before voting.

“This gathering is about the holding hands again of labor and faith as they did more than 50 years ago on the Washington Mall,” says Rev. Bob Hill, former pastor of Community Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the voting in yesterday’s primary election went smoothly across Kansas, with no significant problems. But one issue that remains is how many Kansans cast provisional ballots after a judge allowed 17,000 previously suspended voters to take part in the election.

The provisional ballots from those voters will be hand counted in the coming days. Kobach says he does not expect any issues handling those extra votes.

Jim McLean / KHI News Service

Concerns stem from reports of possible tampering in 2014 election

Kansas doesn’t have a reputation for corruption like Chicago where political bosses stuffed ballot boxes and sometimes raised the dead to alter the outcome of elections, or like Florida, home of the infamous hanging chad from Bush v. Gore.

But concerns about tampering appear to on the rise, at least among Kansas Democrats, because of unusual voting patterns in the 2014 elections and persistent reports about the vulnerability of electronic voting machines.

Kansas Elections Director Bryan Caskey and state Sen. Vicki Schmidt discuss the proposed voting rule during the  Kansas Rules and Regulations Board meeting.
Stephen Koranda / KPR

With little advance notice of the hearing, a state panel has approved a temporary election rule that will have some Kansans vote with provisional ballots, but only their votes in federal races will be counted. Votes for state and local races will be tossed out.

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach proposed the rule. The Kansas Rules and Regulations Board approved it Tuesday morning after notice of the meeting was sent out Monday afternoon.

Stephen Koranda / KPR


It’s time to start voting, Kansas.

From the top of the primary ballot to the bottom there are important decisions to make by Aug. 2.

For years, political polling told us who was  likely to vote and how, but the cell phone complicated all that. With fewer people answering — or even owning — land-line numbers, polls became less reliable. A Chicago start-up is changing that tradition, and finding success.


Wikimedia Commons - CC

Did U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Brian Newby's recently unearthed emails with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach violate federal rules? 

The Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Allied Progress alleges they did and now wants the EAC's Inspector General to dig further into the matter. 

Kansas Elections Board

An earnings tax question tops the ballot in Kansas City April 5, and the Kansas City Elections Board says voting will be quick. But some waited in line for hours March 15 to vote in Missouri's presidential primary. After, the elections board was apologizing for technical glitches that came with an over-sized turnout.

The variety of candidates running for President means lots of choices for the electorate.  So, what factors influence our vote? From party affiliation to electability, we look at what considerations play into our voting decisions.


  • Patrick Miller is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas.
  • Robert Rowland is a professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas.

The right to vote was not in the original version of our Constitution, but the fight to vote has been with us since Revolutionary times. Hear how voter ID, suppressed voter turnout and other issues are not exclusive to the current day.


  • Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center of Justice and the author of The Fight to Vote.

Ask anybody these days to name their state senator, their U.S. senator or member of Congress and chances are you’ll get a blank look more often than you’ll get a correct answer. On this edition of Up To Date, we discuss how to increase voter awareness and engagement.


U.S. Civil Rights Commission

The Kansas voter ID law will be the subject of  a U.S. Civil Rights Commission committee hearing next month.

The Kansas voter ID law is one of most restrictive in the country.

Pushed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, it demands voters not only have photo ID but they prove they are American citizens.

The Kansas Advisory Committee to the Civil Rights Commission has discussed for about a year whether the law has suppressed voter turnout in minority communities.

Now a hearing has been set for 9:00 a.m. , January 28, at the Topeka Public Library.

Voter registration continues to be a hot issue, including in Kansas, where in 2011, the state instituted a strict photo ID rule and a proof of citizenship requirement for those registering to vote. Now, some voting experts advocate a different way of handling the registration of voters: automatic and permanent voter registration. We discuss it on this edition of Up to Date.


In politics, flip-flopping is code for untrustworthy. But human beings do change their minds. What are the pressures that cause shifts on issues while in office? And how can voters evaluate politicians' changes of heart?


Frank Morris / KCUR

In Kansas, you have to show proof that you are a U.S. citizen to register to vote, and that requirement has held up tens of thousands of registrations and produced an enormous list of would-be voters who are essentially in limbo — all because they haven’t shown a birth certificate or passport. 

Now Kansas’ top elections official in Kansas wants that list purged, and that’s leading to a fight. 

County election officials in Kansas are starting to cancel incomplete voter registrations that are more than 90 days old.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach put the rule in place to clear out thousands of incomplete registrations. There’s a legal challenge against the new rule, but a court last week declined to put it on hold.

Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrews Howell says it could take weeks to sort through and identify the registrations that will be canceled.

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 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

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. 

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."

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. 

With just one day left before midterm elections, this conversation explores how our behavior at the polls -- and even the decision to either get out and vote or stay home -- is influenced by personality, emotion, group affilation. In short, plenty having little if anything to do with cold hard facts.


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.

Ken Zirkel / Flickr-CC

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot could give Missouri voters access to early voting for the first time.

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 6 seeks to establish a six-day early voting period statewide. The period would not include weekends or time outside of normal business hours for polling places. 

Ballot language: 

Wes Crenshaw: Young Voters

Oct 21, 2014
Theresa Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

Less than half of under-30's are registered to vote in the United States. What does it take to get young people to the polls and what drives them away? On this edition of Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw and two young adults talk with host Steve Kraske about the voting habits of teens and young adults. We look at the disconnect some feel between themselves and their legislators, and why many just aren't into politics.


via Flickr/MBK (Marjie)

Missouri  Constitutional Amendment 8 is on the ballot Aug. 5 and would create a new lottery ticket that would allocate 25 cents of every dollar spent to fund the Missouri Veterans Commission.

Ballot language:

“A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to create a "Veterans Lottery Ticket." This amendment further provides that the revenue from the sale of these tickets will be used for projects and services related to veterans.
A "no" vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution to create a "Veterans Lottery Ticket."

Tuesday is the final day for Kansans to register to vote or update their address before the Kansas primary election on August 5. There's also still time to provide missing citizenship documents that are keeping voter registrations from being processed.

Anyone who's registering to vote for the first time in Kansas needs to provide a document proving that they're a U.S. citizen. 

Cle0patra / Flickr-CC

The Douglas County clerk says his office will offer financial assistance to residents who need an out-of-state birth certificate to prove their citizenship and comply with Kansas' voter identification law.

County Clerk Jamie Shew says the current law creates two classes of Kansans: Those who were born in-state and can get a free birth certificate, and those who were born out-of-state and must pay to get a birth certificate.