Primary Election draws steady stream of voters

Posted 8/5/20

Halfway through the voting day, 139 Gerald voters had cast ballots in the Primary Election held Tuesday.

A seasoned poll worker said she felt the turnout had been about average or a little better …

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Primary Election draws steady stream of voters

Posted

Halfway through the voting day, 139 Gerald voters had cast ballots in the Primary Election held Tuesday.

A seasoned poll worker said she felt the turnout had been about average or a little better compared to other elections.

County Clerk Tim Baker, who serves as the county’s election authority, told The Republican he expects a 26 percent turnout of registered voters.

Baker includes mail-in/absentee ballots in his projected turnout number.

He notes that 1,419 ballots were mailed to voters in 2018. This year, 2,433 ballots were sent.

The County Clerk’s office was open Saturday morning for voters to cast ballots (provided they met the terms) at the office, without having to worry that their ballot was mailed on time. Or got lost in the mail.

Missouri loosened restrictions on absentee voting this year. Those in the high-risk group for contracting COVID-19 were allowed to vote by mail in this election.

Baker’s office began counting those mail-in ballots Tuesday afternoon in the clerk’s office. The ballots will be fed into one of the two machines located there.

Baker’s staff will feed each ballot into a machine exactly like the machines voters use at their polling place.

The use of two machines will allow time for all mail-in ballots to be counted before the polls close at 7 p.m. The results of those ballots will not be revealed until after the polls have closed.

As with the Municipal Election held in early June, special protocols were in place at the Gerald polling place.

Plexiglas guards separated election judges from voters. Pens used to vote were put in a special container to be sanitized before their next use. One judge wore a mask. Tables where voters sat to fill in their ballots were supposed to be sanitized after use, although that was not done while I was in the building.

Jane Luechtefeld, director of elections in Franklin County, said that all in all, it had been a smooth day. She spent the morning visiting various polling places and found no problems.

Results from the election will not be available before press time. They will be reported in the next issue of The Republican.

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