2020 election | KBIA

2020 election

After Amendment 3: It Passed in 2020, but the Coalitions That Fought it Remain Strong

Jan 15, 2021

Since 2018, Black and brown activists worked to solidify their coalitions to maintain Missouri’s never-used redistricting reforms in a multi-million dollar fight. They never stood a chance in the state’s districts that heavily favor Republicans.

Clean Missouri, a liberal campaign committee, poured over $7.5 million into defending their 2018 victory. In the end, Amendment 3 passed in November—undoing the coalitions’ groundwork in the redistricting fight. 

Nathan Lawrence

Today in our country, you may be feeling a cautious optimism about a way forward following four years that will be known as The Trump Era.

So now is a good time to look at what we are—and who we are—as a country, and as Americans. Was the last four years one big aberration? With 71 million voters supporting President Trump, the force behind the President is real, it’s part of us, and it’s not going away. What does that say about who we are as a country and what it’s like to live here?

Today three international scholars are joining us to examine America and who we are. What does the idea of America mean for you? How does it feel to be an American in the US today? 

Our guests today:

Corinne Valdivia, an MU professor of agricultural economics who specializes in immigration, integration, and rural development

Jay Sexton, MU professor and Kinder Institute Chair 

Adam Smith, professor at Oxford University and director of Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute

Here we are—we’ve made it to November, and we’ve made it through Election Day … sort of. We’re heading toward the wind-down of this remarkable year. And we’re waiting in limbo for election results, trying to stay safe and healthy amid rising Coronavirus numbers, and reflecting on the state of our democracy, our justice, and our health. It’s just a lot. 

The Check-In is about connecting, and sharing solutions. So today, let’s decompress. We’re coming together to talk about how we’re doing. How can we stay mentally healthy amid the uncertainty, the stress and the loss that has defined the time we’re in?

Our guests today:

Laura Schopp, clinical psychologist and chair of MU's Wellness Program.

Tashel Bordere, an MU professor who researches trauma, loss, grief, and adolescent mental health. 

Today's the big day! If you haven't already, be sure and get to your polling station before it closes this evening. In the meantime, enjoy some political history/trivia with MARILYN McLEOD from the League of Women Voters. November 3, 2020


The 2020 election comes in the midst of a pandemic, and on top of that polarizing viewpoints on how citizens should access the polls November 3rd. Voter access is a hotly contested issue in Missouri – it’s one of seven states that has incorporated notarized ballots into its mail-in voting process, amid objections from groups like the NAACP, the ACLU, and the League of Women Voters – who say restrictions like notary requirements discourages voter participation.

Missouri Black and Brown Officeholders Step Up, Even as Race and Gender Challenges Persist

Nov 2, 2020
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

In mid-Missouri, despite the obstacles that race and gender can present, Black and brown candidates are vying for and winning political offices in communities across the state. 

KBIA's Sara Williams talked with Mexico, Missouri  Mayor Ayanna Shivers, Branson Board of Aldermen member Julia King, and Rasheen Aldridge, the youngest African American elected in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Major King

Just two years ago, voters approved Clean Missouri, which changed how legislative districts are drawn. A non-partisan demographer would take over from lawmakers, placing fairness as top priority.

But earlier this year, Republican majorities in Jefferson City decided to give voters a second chance to vote on redistricting. So the issue is back on the ballot, Nov. 3rd.

KBIA’s Fernando Narro has this – on how Amendment 3 impacts communities of color.

A Look at Modern Voter Suppression in Missouri

Nov 2, 2020
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

While some voters are mailing ballots and others are waiting in lines to make their voices heard before Election Day. Communities of color continue facing barriers that keep them from doing the same—silencing their voices in the democratic process.

Presidential ballot showing the names of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and Donald Trump and Michael Pence
Ted Warren / AP

Americans aren't the only ones awaiting the results of this year's U.S. presidential election with intense interest.

Missouri School of Journalism students in Professor Beverly Horvit's International Reporting class interviewed journalists from all over the world about who people in their countries like in the 2020 campaign and why.

The reporters know the U.S. well: They've all spent time here as Alfred Friendly or Hubert Humphrey fellows. 

We're all well aware that there’s an election coming up—in just five days, you are being called upon to make decisions as an American citizen: Decisions about the next President of the United States. Also, decisions about your state Governor, Leiutenant Governor, and lots of state representatives and state senators, as well as some issues, including Clean Missouri. Today we’re breaking down your ballot—what’s on it, how to decide, and how to make sure your vote gets counted. 

Our guests today:

Brianna Lennon, Boone County Clerk

Scott Swafford, senior City Editor at the Columbia Missourian, and long-time political reporter

Mark Horvit, director of the Missouri School of Journalism's State Government Reporting program, and specialist in investigative reporting

Increased Mail-in Voting Comes With Obstacles

Oct 29, 2020

In Mid-Missouri, Marginalized Voices are Pushing for Change

Oct 19, 2020

With Election Day less than a month away, coalition building is underway in Columbia. Mid-Missouri residents are collaborating across a network of social and racial justice groups to advocate for change. For People’s Defense President Roy Lovelady, these conversations are a step in the right direction but not enough. 

“People are more concerned, and they're now listening to the Black and brown people and people of color,” Lovelady said. “But I can’t say that I have seen change happening.”

Since we last checked in, we've had the COVID-19 pandemic reach the very top of our American political establishment and the White House. And nevertheless, we are in election season. So the debates go on, and we're trying to talk to each other, debate each other and address the issue. 

So how is that going? It appears we need some help. So today we're checking in with an expert on political communication, discourse and debate. He's a Missourian and an MU professor. He'll break down some debate highlights from this election cycle and through the ages with us, and try to make sense of it all.

Later, we’ll hear from a local musician about her experiences the past few months and how music moves us forward. 

Our guests: Mitchell McKinney, MU professor and political communications expert

Symonne Sparks, Columbia musician

Fifty years or 100 years from now, when we read about this time we're in, what will be the lessons? What are we learning? 

Today, we're checking in with two historians to get some historical context to the times we're in. What are you hoping for when it comes to how this current era and this election season fit into the landscape of time in history?

At the end of the show we’ll hear about the intersection of art and activism and how they come together in the WE Project.

Our guests today: Devin Fergus, the Arvarh E. Strickland Distinguished Professor of History and Black Studies

Jay Sexton, the Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy, and a Professor of History

Valerie Berta, photojournalist and activist, creator of the WE project

Missourians can start their absentee voting today.

Voters can visit or email their local county clerk’s office to cast an absentee ballot and can also request an absentee ballot to be sent by mail. A voter must provide a reason for casting an absentee ballot in their request, which include absence on Election Day, being an individual at risk for contracting Covid-19 and religious belief or practice.

As clusters of people in voting lines could pose a risk for transmission of the coronavirus, absentee ballots could play a key factor in this year’s election. 


You’ve heard this since your grade-school civics classes. That Voting is one of the most important part of a democracy - it’s how you exercise your right,as a citizen.


And this election season, the sacred American act of voting has become embroiled in our nation’s politics - we have accusations of voter fraud, and others highlighting

disenfranchisement of some citizens who might have less access to ballots and voting booths.


Seneca Businessman Announces Candidacy for Governor

Feb 17, 2020
Voting sign outside polling place
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Raleigh Ritter, business owner and rancher from Seneca, announced Saturday that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2020.

Ritter, a graduate of Westminster College and co-owner of Ritter Rail Inc., has indicated that economic development and agriculture will be among the primary focuses of his candidacy.

To read more, visit our partners at the Columbia Missourian.

Gov. Mike Parson speaking at a rally.
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Democratic Missouri gubernatorial challenger Nicole Galloway has outraised incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Parson in recent months, but she's still behind in cash to spend on her election bid.

Records show Galloway's 2020 campaign raised about $545,000 between July and the end of September compared to Parson's roughly $316,000.

But Parson has more than $1.2 million in cash on hand. Galloway has about $540,000.

A political action committee backing Parson also raised $1.2 million in the last several months and has close to $4.3 million in the bank.

Skelton Announces Candidacy for Missouri Senate

Aug 26, 2019
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Michela Skelton hopes to battle corruption in state politics as she seeks the Democratic nomination for the Missouri Senate's 19th District.

"Getting to see the excitement on the ground of younger voters, like myself, and younger than me even, (I am) really hopeful that we can make some really good change here in mid-Missouri," Skelton, 33, said. The election is in 2020.

Though she previously lost two elections for a seat in the state House of Representatives, Skelton is confident in her decision to run for Senate.