WHAT IS THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE?
The Electoral College elects the president of the United States. "Slates" or lists of electors are voted on by popular vote from each State's body. The state's number of Congressional and Senatorial seats determines the number of electors per state. Missouri has eleven electors. The Caucus process determines delegations to the national political party convention.
For more information about the electoral college, please visit our link to the Missouri Statutes, visit the National Archives and Records Administration Office of the Federal Register Electoral College website, or contact your State Party.
WHAT IS A CAUCUS?
A caucus is a meeting of the members of a political party who discuss issues, take policy positions, and elect party leadership, especially delegates to the state and national conventions. In Missouri, established political parties gather to elect their delegates, as well as determine other relevant policy and representation. To learn more about your caucus, contact your committeeperson for your chosen political party.
HOW IS A DISTRICT OR A JURISDICTION DRAWN?
In each jurisdiction, the election authority establishes precinct boundaries. We consider the U.S. Census when drawing wards and precincts so that each ward's voting population is relatively equal to the next. The State Legislature redistricts Congressional seats. The State draws state jurisdictions. Appropriate committees draw district lines for lower levels of elected officials. The Kansas City City Council redistricts itself. The appropriate election board draws the Kansas City School District's 'sub-districts.'
WHAT IS THE MOTOR VOTER LAW?
The National Voter Registration Act, which took effect on January 1, 1995, provides that an individual who applies for or renews his driver's license may also have the opportunity to register to vote. Ideally, the legislation was enacted to ease voter registration and, ultimately, voter participation.
WHO DETERMINES ELECTION LAW?
While there is Federal law, most election law is left to the state to determine by state law. In Missouri, the Secretary of State is the 'chief election official." Besides assisting local election authorities in the interpretation and administration of state election laws, the Secretary of State publicizes rules governing elections and electronic voting systems. This office is also required to publish the Missouri election laws for use by county clerks and election commissioners. Additionally, the office produces various election materials including instructions for poll workers, calendars of annual election deadlines, training videos, and a manual for election authorities. The Secretary of State cooperates with officials, schools, civic organizations, and other groups to provide materials to support voter registration, responsibility and education.
To learn more about Missouri Election Law, visit the Missouri Revised Statutes site, Chapter 115, which addresses Election Law or the Missouri Secretary of State website.
PARTISAN. NON-PARTISAN. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
A partisan election is one in which party labels appear on the ballot. A non-partisan municipal election does not permit party labels to appear on the ballot.
In a party primary, you must tell your election judge which party's ballot you wish to take into the voting booth. You will receive a ballot formatted so that you may only select candidates from that party. However, you may still vote on any and all issues, and any non-partisan candidates, like municipal judges.
PRIMARY ELECTION. GENERAL ELECTION. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
A primary election is a nominating election in which each political party decides who will represent it in the general election. In the case of a nonpartisan election, the two candidates who receive the most votes then proceed to run in the general election.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ELECTIONS?
Missouri law dictates Election Days. The following laws control Missouri election dates.
Primary Elections - the first Tuesday after the first Monday in even numbered years;
General Elections - the first Tuesday after the first Monday in even numbered years;
Political Subdivisions and Special District Elections - the first Tuesday after the first Monday in April of each year. Kansas City's School Board Elections occur on these Tuesdays in even-numbered years;
General Municipal Elections - the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February or November, or on another day as determined by city or county charter;
School District Elections - the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June and in non-primary years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in August. Municipalities may hold elections in non-primary years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in August.
Some types of elections are exempt from these rules
Bond elections necessitated by fire, vandalism or natural disaster
Elections for which ownership of real property is required by law for voting
Special elections to fill vacancies and to decide tie votes or election contests
WHY IS ALL OF THIS INFORMATION ON THE BALLOT AND WHY IS IT WORDED THE WAY IT IS?
There are two ways an issue may be placed on the ballot. One is by referendum and the other is by citizen initiative.
Referendum - if a legislative body would prefer to have the voters decide an issue, they may vote to have the issue placed on the ballot. Some types of issues require direct voter approval. State and local law determines this.
Citizen Initiative - a potential candidate or interest group initiates a petition if they want to make or change a law. Once the Election Board certifies the petitions, the election date is set. The issue or candidate's name is then placed on the ballot.
WHO CREATES THE LANGUAGE ON THE BALLOT?
The language used on the Ballot for State Level issues (such as State Constitutional Amendments, Initiative and Referendum issues, and statutes referred by the Legislature to the people for a vote) comes from the State to each local election authority. Usually State issues will be in two parts:
- a brief explanation of the proposal, and
- a short description of the probable cost.
There will be a "full text" of the statewide issues posted at each polling site so that you may read it if you wish. The Secretary of State has customarily released a "plain language" description of each state issue. You may obtain copies of either the full text or the plain language description from the Kansas City Election Board or the Secretary of State.
Ballot wording for local issues - County, City, School Board, Metropolitan Junior College, Library District, or any others - originates from the specific local governmental body calling for the election. Sometimes a "full text" will be present at each polling place, but not necessarily. For a further explanation, voters are advised to contact the Clerk or Secretary of the specific entity whose election to which the issue relates.
WHO COUNTS THE BALLOTS?
Voted ballots are delivered to the Election Board after the polls close on Election Day.
Before votes are counted, a bi-partisan team checks the ballot cases to ensure no tampering has occurred. Transfer cases are then opened, ballots are inspected and sent to the computerized tabulation center. Initial results are available by approximately 7:30 p.m. and periodically throughout the night until the final tabulation occurs. Election night results are available on this website.