With the first presidential debate completed, today marks the first day of absentee voting in Pettis County for the Nov. 8 general election.
Absentee voting traditionally begins six weeks before an election, and the process begins at 8 a.m. today. Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada said his office in the Pettis County Courthouse will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for absentee voting. It will also be open two Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. Voters who vote absentee at the courthouse or in person at their polling location on Election Day must bring some form of identification.
“Anybody who feels they can’t make it to their polling location (on Election Day), will be absent due to vacation or is leaving the county, anything of that nature they have the option to vote absentee,” La Strada explained.
He said so far his office has received roughly 920 requests for a mailed absentee ballot, and those will be mailed today. La Strada said it’s still too early to predict voter turnout, but that his office has been bombarded with phone calls, and he appreciated those citizens engaged in the political process.
“This is the heaviest turnout for absentee requests, that’s pretty exciting to know that,” La Strada said. “We’ve had a lot of people calling, asking good questions, checking to see if they’re registered, when polls open.”
Military ballots were mailed Friday. Due to most counties across the state waiting to print ballots until this weekend because of pending court cases for several ballot measures, La Strada said military ballots were sent on normal paper and his resolution team will have to duplicate those returned military “ballots” on a proper ballot that can be put through the tabulator.
“Everyone in the whole state held off on printing due to the propositions in litigation with the court, medical marijuana as well, we didn’t know if it would make the ballot or not,” La Strada said.
Missourians have until Oct. 12 to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election. New residents of Missouri or Pettis County must register to vote by that deadline, but name or address changes for voters remaining in the same county can be made on the day of the election.
Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day. Voters can find their polling location, check to see if they are registered, request a mailed absentee ballot and view a sample ballot at www.pettiscomo.com.
For more information, visit pettiscomo.com or call the Clerk’s office at at 660-826-5000 ext. 918 or La Strada’s cell phone at 660-281-7767.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.