You are here

US mayor not on registry, can't vote in primary

rk_QuintonLucas_110320.jpg
The mayor of Kansas City said Tuesday he was unable to vote at his usual station for the Missouri Democratic primary because he couldn't be found on voter registration lists.

[WASHINGTON] The mayor of Kansas City said Tuesday he was unable to vote at his usual station for the Missouri Democratic primary because he couldn't be found on voter registration lists.

"I made a video this morning about the importance of voting and then got turned away because I wasn't in the system even though I've voted there for 11 years, including for myself four times!" tweeted Quinton Lucas.

The mayor since 2019 of Missouri's largest city added that he would be back later in the day to vote.

"If the mayor can get turned away, think about everyone else... We've got to do better," Mr Lucas said in a separate tweet.

The Midwestern state is one of six that votes on Tuesday to choose which of Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders should face off against President Donald Trump in November.

Voter suppression is a perennial complaint in US elections, largely in Republican-led states where critics say tough rules to combat fraud dissuade legitimate voters from the poorest, non-white communities.

Mr Lucas, who is black, told the The Kansas City Star organisers had explained that a poll worker had accidentally switched the mayor's first and last names, making it impossible to find him on the voter roll.

Mr Lucas said it was "clearly something that should not have happened, cannot happen."

He noted that he got an explanation because he is the mayor, but most Kansas City residents never get one.

"I think the biggest threat to American elections is that Americans can't vote too often," he said, referring to the numerous administrative obstacles that discourage voters, particularly in the black community.

The Democratic director of the Kansas City Board of Elections, Lauri Ealom, apologised to the mayor on Twitter.

She said it was always possible to vote via provisional ballot, which uses a temporary envelope with a receipt to verify that the ballot has been counted.

AFP