City Council 101: When, Who, Whaa??

There is an election coming up on June 18th to pick KCMO’s next mayor and city council. Over a few blog posts, I will try to help voters better acquaint themselves with the voting process, the geography of the districts, and what the mayor and city council members actually do. And please, sign up for more updates from my campaign to win the 4th In-District City Council seat.

In this installment of City Council 101, I attempt to help answer the most frequently asked questions about the Kansas City Mayor and City Council elections.

Q: What KCMO elected offices are up for election in April 2nd?

A: Voters of Kansas City will vote for Mayor and all 12 city council seats.

Q: Okay, so which ones will I see on my ballot?

A: You will vote for mayor, an in-district city council member, and six at-large city council members.

Q: What’s this at-large and in-district nonsense?

A: It’s not nonsense, but it is a little confusing.

KCMO has six council districts. Each is represented by one in-district council person and one-at large.

KCMO has six council districts. Each is represented by one in-district council person and one-at large.

The city is split into six districts (see my last post for more info on that). Each district is represented by one in-district councilperson and one at-large councilperson. The difference is that an in-district council member is elected by just the voters who live in that district, while the at-large council member is elected by voters from across the entire city.

So let’s say you live in my district, district 4. You will vote on these KCMO offices:

  • Mayor

  • 4th In-District (Vote #Bunch4KC!)

  • 1st At-Large

  • 2nd At-Large

  • 3rd At-Large

  • 4th At-Large

  • 5th At-Large

  • 6th At-Large

Q: You said something about April 2nd being a primary. What’s that all about? How does the general election work?

A: Correct, April 2nd is just the first round for the mayoral and council candidates. Every candidate who collected enough petition signatures to qualify will appear on their respective district ballots. There are no parties so you have don’t have to choose which team to vote for. Some candidates will be running unopposed while other races have many people vying for the seat. The top two vote-getters will move on to the general election on June 18th.

Q: So we vote twice on mayoral and council candidates?

A: Yes. Please, make sure you vote in both elections - April 2nd is the primary. June 18th is the general. Even if your top choices to make it on to the final round, please vote in both. You may need to reacquaint yourself with the candidates, but it’s still a big decision for the future of Kansas City, Missouri.

Q: Will there be anything else on my ballot besides mayor and city council?

A: It is also important to remember that there will be a whole bunch of other stuff on your April 2nd ballot. And because Kansas City spans four counties and more than a dozen school districts, your ballot may not be the same as mine. I will try to cover more of that later.