Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas was finally able to cast his ballot in the Missouri primary Tuesday after initially being turned away by a poll worker who alleged he “wasn’t in the system.”
Ironically, the incident happened just moments after Lucas posted a video encouraging folks to get out and vote, according to the Kansas City Star.
“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!” he wrote on Twitter.
It was just before 7 a.m. Tuesday when Lucas, who took helm of the city just last year, tried to vote at his designated polling place at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. He left, however, after a poll worker couldn’t find his registration.
The mayor presented his Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners ID after a search of his name on a utility bill he brought with him came up empty, the newspaper reported. He still wasn’t showing in the system.
Lucas was offered a provisional ballot but refused, saying he wanted to ensure his vote was actually counted.
“If the mayor can get turned away, think about everyone else… We gotta do better,” he tweeted later.
The error was later blamed on the poll worker, who’d incorrectly entered the mayor’s name into the system.
“He put his last name in as his first name and his first name in as his last name,” explained Lauri Ealom the Democratic director of elections for the Kansas City Board of Commissioners. Ealon said the issue boiled down to human error.
After confirming the mix-up, election officials alerted Lucas, who was able to return to his polling place and vote.The mayor expressed relief the issue had been resolved, but said it underscored a larger problem on how state elections are run.
“Look, this was a surprising situation for me, too,” he told local media after finally casting his ballot. “I thought I’d come in, vote and then move on with my day … But every day as mayor is an interesting one and a different one.”
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft smeared the mayor’s account of the polling incident as a “stunt,” and criticized Lucas for wrongly blaming the poll worker when he refused to be helped.
“He declined [to] have the supervisor fix the problem,” Ashcroft argued. “He declined to vote a provisional ballot. He is making a mockery of our election system.”
Lucas dodged the attack, adding “respectfully, the secretary doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” When asked what changes he’d like to see to help improve the elections process, the mayor said more money and resources are needed.
“And what I’d like to take from this is actually a learning opportunity, for all of us,” he added, “to say, ‘what are the options you have if you have some concerns?’ And more to the point, how can we make [voting] a swifter, more efficient process? How do we get more volunteers involved?'”
He continued, “That’s what I’m gonna look to do after this.”
Watch more in the video below.