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Kansas Citians came out in force against stadium taxes. How does it compare to previous votes?

The results are in and Jackson County voters have decided not to implement a 40-year, 3/8-cent sales tax to help pay for a new Royals stadium in Crossroads and renovations to the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium.

The ballot measure failed 58% to 42%, losing big in both eastern Jackson County and Kansas City, south of the Missouri River.

Turnout in the April special election was much higher than last year’s special election in both Jackson County and Kansas City, according to the Jackson County and Kansas City boards of elections.

But how many residents came to vote, and how does that compare to previous elections? How does this vote compare to the last time Kansas City and Jackson County voted on the stadium tax?

Here’s what the results say.

How did voters show up for the special election on Tuesday?

A total of 134,958 votes were cast, of which 78,352 were no and 56,606 were yes.

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Of Kansas City’s 219,075 registered voters, only 53,238 voted, which is 24.3% of the population, according to the Kansas City Election Board. About 57.8% of voters said no, and 42.2% voted yes in Kansas City.

About 34.3% of Jackson County voters participated in Tuesday’s election, with 81,768 of the 239,095 registered voting on the stadium tax.

The Jackson County Board of Elections indicated 47,561 voted no and 34,207 voted yes on the measure.

How does that compare to previous elections?

Missouri holds general municipal elections every April, but last night’s turnout was the highest in years. The chart below shows turnout in the Kansas City and Jackson County election areas.

“We were excited to see the 34% turnout,” Jackson County Elections Commissioner Sara Zorich told The Star Wednesday morning. “I think the question really brought people forward.”

Here’s how Jackson County and Kansas City voted in the last election:

What were the results of the last stadium tax vote in Kansas City?

It’s been almost two decades since Kansas City and Jackson County voted on a stadium tax. Tuesday’s result showed similarities.

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In the November 2004 election, voters rejected a quarter-cent sales tax that would have raised $1.2 billion for improvements to Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums.

The vote twenty years ago was a bi-state initiative that included funding for stadium improvements and arts projects.

The 2004 measure had to pass in Jackson County as well as two of the area’s other four counties: Platte, Clay, Wyandotte and Johnson. It passed in Jackson County and received 61% of the vote, but lost in each of the other counties.

The teams returned to the ballot in April 2006, but only in Jackson County. They asked for a 3/8 cent sales tax to raise $425 million over 25 years, and this demand caused the art project to be removed.

This measure prevailed with 53% approval. A $170 million rolling roof for the Truman Sports Complex was also on the agenda, but failed.

Turnout in the 2006 election was 25% in Kansas City and 44% in Jackson County. according to previous Star reporting.

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