KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The mayor of Kansas City on Monday urged businesses and employers to give their workers plenty of time to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
"In 2015 in November, this entire city came together to honor the Royals. And although that was a significant event, and it was certainly a joyous event, it was not the momentous bedrock foundation of our democracy that voting is. So if we can take 800,000 people and put them in a confined space and businesses can let them off work all day to do that, I'm asking that you consider doing something even smaller than that to allow them to go vote," said Mayor James.
Mayor James said City Manager Troy Schulte rearranged schedules to allow those who work for the city to take up to four hours to cast their vote. He also announced Monday that public transportation will be free on Election Day.
"The idea of providing free transportation to everyone on Election Day is not just a smart community decision it's a great decision for basic democracy," said Mayor Sly James. "I can't overstate the importance of getting out and voting on Election Day. It's one of the most impactful ways residents can perform their civic duty and I'm grateful to the Kansas City ATA and RideKC transit partners for doing their part to make sure that any resident who wants to and needs to will have an opportunity to go out and make their voices heard on Nov. 8 by casting their ballot."
Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland appealed to all voters, but especially first-time voters to make sure their vote counts.
"It's a big rite of passage. Everyone celebrates turning 21. Why do they celebrate turning 21? Turning 18 and being able to vote is a much bigger milestone than turning 21 and being able to go to a bar," Holland said.
Out of 13,000 ballots cast county-wide for his first run as commissioner, he says he won by 35 votes.
"I know there's an attitude in this country, 'Oh it doesn't matter, there's too many people voting.' Your vote does matter," he said.
Eileen Wier, Independence, Mo., mayor said she would take Mayor James' and Kansas City, Mo., City Manager Troy Schulte's idea to allow four hours for voting for all employees, back to Independence for consideration. She also urged people to review the other issues on the ballot in the next two weeks before the election.
"There's a lot on the ballot. There's a lot on the ballot in Jackson County. If the Presidential election is going to get you to the polling place, please while you're there take the time to go all the way through the ballot and make these important decisions. There's some very critical things for the state of Missouri. There's some constitutional amendments. There's Jackson County issues. There's a library issue, COMBAT, many, many things on the ballot," said Eileen Weir, Independence, Mo., mayor.