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With only his Virginia license, Clay Chastain cannot vote for himself as mayor of Kansas City

Kansas City mayoral candidate Clay Chastain intended to cast a vote for himself Friday morning, but was denied an absentee ballot when he was unable to meet Missouri’s new voter identification requirements.

“I’m on the ballot, but now you’re saying I can’t vote for myself?” Chastain told Kansas City Board of Elections office workers at Union Station. To cast a vote, they told him, he needed a valid, state-issued photo identification card such as a Missouri driver’s license or a valid US passport.

But Chastain, who lives most of the time in Bedford, Virginia, doesn’t have a Missouri photo ID or an unexpired passport. He has a Virginia driver’s license, but that won’t reduce him to the tougher restrictions on voter identification Missouri imposed last year.

Chastain was not happy to hear the news that unless he obtained the proper paperwork, his only option was to cast a provisional vote on Election Day, which would count only if he could later prove he was who he said he was. to be.

“When I vote, I want my vote to count. It should hold if I’m allowed to get my name on the ballot,” she told the workers.

Talk to the Secretary of State, one of them said.

It was the second time in as many days that the perennially failed candidate’s political ambitions had been thwarted by the strict rules of officialdom.

He was arrested Thursday for trespassing at City Hall. The building’s security chief called the police when, as Chastain recounts, Chastain refused to comply with orders not to bring campaign flyers into the building.

Chastain said he had no plans to hand out the banned flyers inside City Hall unless someone asked for one. His purpose that day, he said, was to call Mayor Quinton Lucas during the city council’s public comment period over his alleged refusal to debate. He was carrying a life-size sign of the mayor that he intended to use as a visual aid.

They are the only two mayoral candidates on the ballot in this year’s election. Two registered candidates declared.

But the security chief said he could not take the flyers upstairs with him, and if he left them at the security checkpoint they would be thrown in the trash. When Chastain refused to budge, the cops were called.

This is Chastain’s account. A detailed police report was not available, but a police spokesman verified the arrest and Chastain provided The Star with a copy of his note.

“I was handcuffed to the paddy wagon,” Chastain said of his trip to the police station at 27th Street and Prospect Avenue, where he was booked and released without bail.

He discussed those events in a press conference he had called under the clock at Union Station Friday morning, before planning the mail-in vote. The Star reporter was the only member of the news media who attended.

Next, Chastain took the escalator downstairs to the election office, where he had announced that he would be absentee balloting in the primary. Those with an excuse not to be able to vote on Election Day can absentee ballot in person starting this week.

Chastain’s excuse is that he couldn’t be sure if he would be in Kansas City on Election Day. His critics have long questioned whether a nonresident should be eligible to run or sponsor election matters in Kansas City — which he has done both many times since he moved from Kansas City 20 years ago, first to Athens. , Tennessee, and now a small town in West Virginia.

But Chastain says he, too, lives part of the year in Kansas City at his sister’s house on the 3500 block of Genessee Street.

It’s the address on his trespassing ticket that sets the trial date at March 28. He plans to be in town for that.

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