Kansas City primary election: Where to go, what to bring and what’s on the ballot

Who will replace Sly James as mayor of Kansas City? Meet the candidates vying for the city’s top job.

Meet the candidates running for mayor of Kansas City.
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Meet the candidates running for mayor of Kansas City.

Kansas City voters will take steps to choose a new mayor and council members in the city’s primary election on April 2.

Tuesday’s vote is a nonpartisan primary. The top two finishers in each race will move on to the June 18 general election.

Mayors and City Council members are limited to two consecutive four-year terms. So every eight years, the city’s leadership changes significantly.

To help your voting experience run smoothly, The Star has compiled a guide to voting and comprehensive information on the candidates and issues.

What you need to know to vote

The deadline has passed to register to vote in this election, but to find polling places and sample ballots and other information, visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.

Enter your name, address and birthday to make sure you’re registered.

From there, you can go to the office’s “Voter Outreach Portal” to find your polling location, sample ballots and contact information for your local voting authority.

You don’t need to have a photo ID to vote. For a list of acceptable forms of ID, see the list on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you’re in line by the time the polls close at 7 p.m., you still have the right to cast your vote. You don’t have to be done voting by the time the polls close.

To see a sample ballot click here.

What’s on the ballot

You will decide between 11 mayoral candidates: Scott Taylor, Alissia Canady, Quintin Lucas, Steve Miller, Scott Wagner, Philip “Phil” Glynn, Vincent Lee, Jolie Justus, Jermaine Reed, Henry Klein and Clay Chastain. (To read a candidate’s profile, click his or her name in the list.)

With six council incumbents (Alissia Canady, Jolie Justus, Quinton Lucas, Jermaine Reed, Scott Taylor and Scott Wagner) running for mayor in the April 2 primary, at least half of the 12 seats will turn over.

In the race for Wagner’s 1st District at-large seat, Kevin O’Neill is running unopposed. The newcomers will be joined by three incumbents who are uncontested for second terms: Heather Hall, Teresa Loar and Kevin McManus.

The ballot also includes a question about Kansas City’s proposed sales tax for universal pre-K.

It is hard to find anyone who disputes that expanded access to pre-K would be good for Kansas City children. But the tax increase, which would raise about $30 million a year, has been a controversial topic.

The Kansas City school board also faces sweeping changes during the April 2 election.

Six incumbents are not seeking re-election. In addition, a state law requiring all school boards to have seven members means two of the current nine positions — one that is at-large and one sub-district — are being eliminated. And sub-district boundaries are being reconfigured. To read more about the 12 candidates who are competing for 7 seats on the Kansas City school board, click here.

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Allison Kite reports on City Hall and local politics for The Star. She joined the paper in February 2018 and covered Midterm election races on both sides of the state line. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with minors in economics and public policy from the University of Kansas.
As a regional growth producer, Leah manages all things digital at The Kansas City Star. She’s also co-host of Deep Background, our news and politics podcast. Leah is a member of The Star’s 2018 Pulitzer finalist team for her work on “Secret Kansas.”