Last updated: August 26. 2013 7:52PM - 121 Views

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Absentee voting for the Nov. 6 general election opens at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

With a ballot that includes close presidential and U.S. Senate races, as well as new Missouri House of Representative seats and three open county races for eastern and western commissioners and treasurer, Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada is projecting overall turnout to be at least 75 percent.

“Going off the 2008 general election numbers, we had 69.5 percent turnout and 14 percent turnout for the primary. This August we saw 22 percent turnout for the primary so I am expecting us to go well over that 70 percent mark in November,” La Strada said.

La Strada mailed out 40 military ballots on Friday, and already has a stack of some 80 absentee ballots ready to be mailed out on Tuesday, all signs, he said, of a high level of excitement among voters.

“Obviously that presidential election is going to be a big draw. With the economy the way it is, people are engaged and want to make sure they pick the right person,” La Strada said. “Plus we see open races for the two commissioners and treasurer. With no incumbents in those races I think people are going to be a lot more interested in those.”

The clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, but will also be open for special hours for absentee voting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

La Strada said he may open for a third day of Saturday voting on Oct. 20, and plans to make a final decision on that date after the Oct. 10 voter registration deadline.

“I should have a pretty good idea by then how busy we are going to be. I just want to make sure and give people every opportunity I can so they can make sure their voices are heard,” La Strada said.

Complete sample ballots are available online through the county’s website at pettiscomo.com. La Strada has also launched Facebook and Twitter outreach efforts, with ballots also available through facebook.com/

nicklastrada. Links and special announcements will be available via twitter.com/nicklastrada.

“We have had a lot of success with some of the new media tools, especially the Facebook page, and I expect to be using them a lot more in future elections,” La Strada said.

People with questions may call the clerk’s office at 826-5000, ext. 918.

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