voting

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.

Guests:

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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: 

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.

Guests:

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. 

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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.

A Democratic candidate for Kansas secretary of state has unveiled her proposal to revamp some voter registration rules. Kansas law requires proof of citizenship documents for people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas, and that requirement has put around 19,000 voter registrations on hold.

A U.S. district judge has ruled that the federal government must help Kansas and Arizona enforce their voter registration requirements. Both states require people registering to vote for the first time to prove their citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate.

Kansas and Arizona asked the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to add those state-specific instructions to the federal voter registration form. Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita says the commission has no authority to deny the request.

The Kansas Senate has passed a bill that bars people from switching the political party on their voter registration in the final weeks before a primary election.

The bill would move the deadline from the current two weeks before the election to about two months before a primary. Supporters of the bill say it protects Kansas primaries from meddling by people in other political parties who want to sway the outcome.

"Stealing elections and manipulating elections is not what the democratic process is about," says Sen. Julia Lynn, a Republican from Olathe.

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony Monday on the latest effort by Republicans to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Will Missouri inmates on death row face death by firing squad someday? After a recent debacle in a Ohio execution and shortages of lethal injection drugs, legislators are considering alternative methods.

Host Brian Ellison talks to death penalty opponents. Later, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will discuss voter identification laws.   

Guests: 

The 2014 Kansas legislative session is underway, and on the first day, two lawmakers introduced bills that would reduce a backlog of voter registrations.

Nearly 20,000 registrations are on hold in Kansas because of a new law that took effect last year requiring people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to provide documents proving their U.S. citizenship.

The bills that have been introduced would allow people registering to instead sign an affidavit swearing they're a U.S. citizen. Lying on the form would be a felony.

A federal agency has been ordered to take another look at the national voter registration form and consider a change requested by Kansas and Arizona. The two states require proof of citizenship in some cases when registering to vote. The states want the federal form to include instructions on the document requirement.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the federal Election Assistance Commission hasn't yet made a decision.

Tens of thousands of people in Kansas have their voter registrations on hold. That means their votes won’t count until they get the situation resolved.

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR

21,000 Voter Registrations Stalled In Kansas

More than 20,000 people in Kansas have their voter registrations on hold, which means their vote won't count until the situation is resolved. About 80 percent of these stalled registrations happened at driver’s license offices and stem from a new law requiring people to show proof of citizenship when they register to vote. 

The Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has again come under the microscope of an interim legislative committee looking into whether state agencies are operating efficiently.

The American Civil Liberties Union says in a letter that it's ready to go to court over a voter registration law in Kansas.

The law requires people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate. More than 12,000 voter registration applications have been put on hold because of that requirement.

Doug Bonney is with the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. He says the law, which was strongly championed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, puts unnecessary hurdles in front of voters.

Voter registration applications for more than 12,000 people in Kansas are on hold because of missing documents that could prove U.S. citizenship. A state law that took effect this year requires people who register to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he's considering a rule change that could allow some of those voters to cast ballots in certain elections.

A state regulatory board has rejected a proposed change to voter registration rules requiring Kansans to show proof of citizenship.

The rules took effect in January. Since then, around 12,000 voter registration applications have been missing citizenship documents. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach pushed for the citizenship law, and for the proposed rule change.

Wallyg / Flickr -- Creative Commons

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.  Section 4 is the part of the bill requiring certain states, mostly in the south, to get federal approval for changes to voting regulations.  Professor Allan Rostron provides an initial reaction and potential implication to this ruling.

lwv.org

The League of Women Voters  has a few goals it's pursuing-- more advance voting and online voter registration.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Voter turnout has been heavy in portions of Missouri Tuesday morning, according to the Secretary of State’s office. 

Know How To Vote

Nov 5, 2012
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In Kansas, voters have until noon today (Monday, November 05, 2012) to cast an advance ballot in person.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A deadline is looming to register to vote in Kansas time for the fall election. The cutoff in Kansas is Tuesday, October 16th.

Student activists at Kansas City Community College worry young people are not as  interested in the upcoming elections as they should be.

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Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says voter turnout should be around 25 percent for Tuesday’s party primaries. That’s slightly higher than the 23 percent turnout two years ago.

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