Mis­souri Democrats choose in pres­i­den­tial pri­mary today

The Kansas City Star - - Front Page - BY JA­SON HAN­COCK AND BRYAN LOWRY jhan­[email protected]­star.com [email protected]­clatchydc.com

Twenty-two names will ap­pear on the ballot today as Mis­souri Democrats head to the polls to choose a nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent.

In re­al­ity, nearly all of them are po­lit­i­cal gad­flies or can­di­dates who have al­ready dropped out of the race.

That leaves only two men with any real chance of emerg­ing with a share of Mis­souri’s 68 del­e­gates: former Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den and Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders.

Bi­den had events in St. Louis and Kansas City over the week­end, and his wife hop­scotched the state Mon­day. Much of the Demo­cratic es­tab­lish­ment in the state has ral­lied to his cause, in­clud­ing Con­gress­man Emanuel Cleaver and the last two Demo­cratic gov­er­nors.

San­ders spoke to hun­dreds of sup­port­ers in St. Louis Mon­day af­ter­noon, but he can­celed a planned stop in Kansas City. He may lack in­sti­tu­tional sup­port, but San­ders’ rise has been fu­eled in­stead by vol­un­teer fer­vor. In Mis­souri, he boasts an army of sup­port­ers who have es­sen­tially been cam­paign­ing on his be­half since he nar­rowly lost the Mis­souri pri­mary in 2016.

Here’s what you need to know about today’s pres­i­den­tial pri­mary.

POLLS AND ID

Polls are open from 6 a.m. un­til 7 p.m.. If you run late to the polls but are in line by 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.

Vot­ers are not re­quired to show a photo ID to cast a ballot, but they must pro­vide doc­u­men­ta­tion that con­tains their name and ad­dress. A util­ity bill, bank state­ment or pay­check can suffice.

Any­one who can­not pro­vide ID but is still reg­is­tered to vote may cast a pro­vi­sional ballot that will be counted if they re­turn to the polling place on Elec­tion Day with ID or if the sig­na­ture on the pro­vi­sional ballot en­ve­lope is de­ter­mined by

local elec­tion au­thor­ity to match the sig­na­ture on the voter’s reg­is­tra­tion record.

CORO­N­AVIRUS

Corey Dil­lon, di­rec­tor of the Jack­son County Elec­tion Board, said polling places have stocked up on dis­in­fec­tant wipes. Elec­tion work­ers have been in­structed to wipe down pens used for sign­ing the poll books and sur­faces at vot­ing booths through­out the day as the re­gion re­sponds to cases of coro­n­avirus in Mis­souri and Kansas.

“We en­cour­age vot­ers to take the same type of pre­cau­tions they’d take go­ing to the bank or the gro­cery store,” she said.

Dil­lon said the county takes sim­i­lar steps when­ever an elec­tion co­in­cides with flu sea­son. “We al­ways are con­cerned dur­ing elec­tion time when it is in the midst of the flu sea­son and we take those pre­cau­tions se­ri­ously,” Dil­lon said.

DEL­E­GATE MATH

The state’s 68 del­e­gates will be as­signed based on both the statewide re­sults and the vote to­tal in each of the state’s eight con­gres­sional dis­tricts.

The Mis­souri Demo­cratic Party has crit­i­cized Mis­souri Sec­re­tary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Repub­li­can, for not re­quir­ing county elec­tion of­fices to sep­a­rate the votes by con­gres­sional district.

“If it’s a tight race, it’ll be hard to dis­cern,” said Lau­ren Gep­ford, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the state party, who noted that Jack­son County in­cludes por­tions of both the state’s 4th and 5th con­gres­sional dis­tricts.

Ashcroft said in a state­ment that the party’s re­quest to sep­a­rate out the votes by con­gres­sional district, as was done in 2016 un­der Demo­cratic Sec­re­tary of State Ja­son Kan­der, came in weeks af­ter the bal­lots had been printed.

“On top of all that,” he said, “it would con­cern me to spend tax­payer money to ben­e­fit one po­lit­i­cal party.”

The Mis­souri Demo­cratic Party will put out an es­ti­mate of each can­di­date’s del­e­gates on elec­tion night, but the over­all del­e­gate count could change as the party parses out the to­tals in each con­gres­sional district.

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