Voting in the Heart of KC: Greater Downtown and Midtown

Voting in the Heart of KC: Greater Downtown and Midtown

Voting in the Heart of KC: Greater Downtown and Midtown

By Ruth Holliday, Intern at Downtown Council of Kansas City

Results from the general municipal election on April 2, 2024, from the Kansas City Election Board (KCEB) reveal that in Greater Downtown and Midtown Kansas City, MO combined, there are around 22,500 registered voters.

The Downtown Council (DTC) considers Greater Downtown as its boundary, which spans from the Missouri River south to 31st St. and from State Line Rd. east to Woodland Ave.. It includes the Central Business District (CBD), Rivermarket, Crossroads, Columbus Park, Union Hill, Westside, Beacon Hill, Hospital Hill, Paseo West, 18th and Vine, Crown Center, and the Riverfront. Overlapping with the southern border of Greater Downtown in the Crown Center area, Midtown encompasses Old Hyde Park, Westport, Valentine, Southmoreland, and the Plaza-Westport area.

In the last election, the KCEB saw a 24.3% voter turnout rate and the Jackson County Election Board (JCEB) saw a 34.4% voter turnout. The JCEB’s jurisdiction covers everywhere in the county outside of Kansas City, MO, including cities such as Independence, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Grandview, and Raytown. Both of these turnouts were greater than any turnout rate either election board saw in 2023, however, the DTC believes these rates can always improve, especially in Greater Downtown and Midtown.

Due to its geographical alignment with Midtown, the DTC hopes to develop a partnership on this mission to increase voter registration with Midtown KC Now, a non-profit organization that supports urban development in Midtown. Resident Engagement Manager, Jared Campbell, explains that the DTC’s current primary voter outreach effort involves partnering with the Downtown Neighborhood Association to communicate with Downtown KC residents about upcoming registration deadlines and elections and connect them with KCEB resources.

With the approaching presidential election this fall, increasing voter registration and election turnout is especially important. The DTC strives to improve the accessibility of voting registration in Greater Downtown and Midtown for people of all abilities, incomes, races, and ethnicities. Increasing voter registration and turnout is essential to foster an engaged and active urban community with citizens whose voices are heard.