Long lines in some spots as voters head to polls - KCTV5

Long lines in some spots as voters cast their ballots

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Some Kansas City voters reported spending up to three hours to cast their ballots on Tuesday.

Voters were warned to prepare for long lines and a lengthy ballot.

Polls opened Tuesday at 6 a.m. across Missouri as voters decided not only on a president and a nationally watched U.S. Senate race, but also several statewide races and ballot measures.

As polls opened in Kansas City, there were reports of long lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots and parking lots full of cars.

Spokeswoman Stacie Temple says the Missouri Secretary of State's Office received many phone calls from people checking their registrations or verifying their polling places.

The state had predicted 72 percent of Missouri's registered voters - more than 3 million people - would cast ballots. Temple said it's looking promising that the prediction will be accurate.

In Jackson County, voting was closer to 65 percent.

"We anticipated anywhere around the hour mark and we were prepared for that," Richard Thomas said.

Other voters reported getting in and out in 10 minutes, which was a pleasant surprise for them. One of the biggest issues was redistricting, leading to voters going to the wrong poll or not being listed on the voter rolls.

Weather conditions weren't a factor, with dry and mostly pleasant conditions and temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s.

Rose Johnson, 23, of Kansas City, said she voted for President Barack Obama instead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"I feel that's the only way I'd be protected as a woman. I don't agree with anyone who changes their mind in the middle of a sentence, and Romney has gone there. I'm just saying Obama was able to show himself as a person and everyone else was overly scripted," said Johnson, who works in background checks.

However, for 28-year-old Blake Bopp, he is hoping for a better change.

"It seems like everything is going downhill," said Bopp, an electrical lineman from Jefferson City who voted for Romney and other Republicans, citing frustration over Obama's healthcare law and the federal bailout of the auto industry.

In Kansas, the polls opened across most of the state at 7 a.m., and officials are expecting only a 68 percent voter turnout, the smallest percentage of Kansas voters casting ballots in a general election since 2000.

After the presidential race, the Kansas statewide ballot lacks a marquee race, such as for U.S. Senate or governor.

But that did not stop 35-year-old Ben Garber from making his voice heard.

"The Legislature in Kansas is already so Republican, and in the primary all the moderates lost their elections to ultra conservatives. I don't want our Legislature to be so far to the right. Then Brownback can do what he wants with taxes and school funding. I don't agree with what Brownback is doing," said Garber, a Republican sales and marketing employee from Overland Park.

For Jeff Burr, 57, if a candidate had a "D" by their name, that was who he voted for.

"I'm a Democrat, and I'm a hardcore Democrat. It has a lot to do with Brownback. Sebelius is long gone. I don't like the direction the state is going. It's got way too conservative," said Burr, a Democratic lab technician from Overland Park.

Even without hotly contested statewide races, federal prosecutors in Kansas say they'll be on duty throughout Tuesday to field complaints of election fraud and voting rights violations.

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