A steady stream of Kansas City area residents hit the polls Tuesday morning, as voters across Missouri cast ballots in presidential primary elections.
Shortly before 8 a.m., about three dozen voters waited in line at the Bon Bosco Center, 508 Campbell Street in Kansas City. Many had stopped on their way to work.
“Oh, my,” one voter exclaimed upon seeing the line.
The line moved quickly, though, so the wait did not last long, said voter Hunter Ratliff. He said he votes in every presidential primary because it helps shape the future of his political party.
At the Country Club Plaza United Methodist Church, the line began forming 20 minutes before the polls opened at 6 a.m. A steady stream of voters continued to arrive over the next four hours, poll workers said.
Among the voters at that site were Anne Usher and Betty Crumpton, who both said they vote every election. This presidential race has been incredible to watch, Usher said.
“And really disappointing,” she said, adding that the primary election is “just getting us closer to it being over.”
On the Democratic ballot, voters have nine candidates, including front-runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
On the Republican ballot, voters can choose from a dozen candidates, including front-runners Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Some others on the ballot have dropped from the race.
“This has been an election cycle that we have never seen the types of before, in terms of the people, their passions and really the polarization of the candidates from Trump to Bernie Sanders,” said Kansas City voter Nicholas Segura. “I know the world is observing very closely. I hope we all make good decisions.”
Another voter said he takes the one-vote matter seriously.
“I’m one of those who would rather make my voice heard during the primary process as opposed to complaining about who you have to choose at the presidential level,” said Robert Westfall, a Sanders supporter. “If you want to complain about how things are working, you have to be involved at least in some manner. The easiest way to do it is to vote.”
At Wexford Place, a Platte County polling place in Kansas City, 149 people had voted by 7:30 a.m. Turnout was steady, but there was virtually no waiting.
Julie Swope, the supervising election judge at the site, said the turnout appeared about normal for a presidential primary.
“Everything’s going smoothly,” she said.
Of those who had voted during the morning commute, 90 filled out paper ballots and the rest had used the lone electronic tablet available for voting.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.
Missouri is one of five states voting Tuesday in presidential primary elections.