After visiting Leagues and elected officials in Colorado, I hopped a plane for a few quick days in Kansas City, Missouri. It was a pretty busy few days meeting with local election officials, League members, local media, and empowering high school students!
I met with the Democratic and Republican election commissioners at the Jackson County Elections Board in Independence. Like most local election officials, their prime concern is to make sure everyone has a chance to vote on Election Day. They expressed concern about the likely confusion over voter ID and are training their workers to give voters the correct information. It was great to meet with officials who are reaching out and helping voters get the information they need.
We then went to the Johnson County, Kansas Board of Elections and the contrast could not have been greater. Not in professionalism and concern for voters, but just in scale. We were taken into the warehouse where election workers are staging the equipment for 221 polling places (a 20% drop from 2008). On long tables in this warehouse were rows and rows of suitcases, each containing all the equipment poll workers would need on Election Day. Nearby were rows and rows of voting machines, all plugged in and sealed. A moving company will truck this equipment to polling places on the Monday before Election Day.
A true highlight of this trip was visiting Center High School in Jackson County for a presentation on empowering the youth vote, which was filmed by two local television crews! This event served as a kick-off to the over 250 events held by Leagues across the country for National Voter Registration Day. In Missouri, volunteers from the local League of Women Voters, which serves Clay, Jackson and Platte Counties, were trained by the Kansas City Election Board and will be registering voters at various locations before the election.
I also had the opportunity to sneak over the Kansas border and spend some time with members of the Kansas League. The conversation was wonderful and the Kansas barbecue was just as good.
Now after not even 24 hours at home in Georgia, I am back on the road and in Michigan! Stay tuned for my next update.