Today is the last day to cast an absentee ballot as Pettis County and the nation closes in on the last 48 hours of the 2012 general election.
Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada told the Democrat that 1,860 Pettis County voters cast absentee cards as of 1 p.m. Saturday. That compares to about 2,100 absentee voters in the 2008 general election.
“I think we could still easily break that 2,000 mark by the time we get through Monday and get all our mail-in ballots back on election day,” La Strada said.
People may vote absentee at the clerk’s office, on the second floor of the courthouse, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Voters with mail-in ballots may return them by hand to the clerk’s office until polls close on Tuesday.
Polls will open at 6 a.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m. Tuesday, and will remain open for voting to anyone that was in line when the polls closed.
Based on turnout from 2008 and during the August primary, La Strada has estimated turnout of at least 70 percent, and possibly as high as 75 percent on Tuesday.
“We have done a lot of outreach through the media, plus Facebook and Twitter. Our absentee turnout is about on track with 2008, but I’ve talked to some of the other counties and some of them are down by as much as 50 percent from four years ago. This is a different election than what was going on in 2008,” La Strada said.
La Strada said the down numbers could reflect less enthusiasm among some voters, or “people may still be undecided on some of these races and they are just waiting to the last minute to make up their minds.”
In Pettis County, the clerk’s office was open the last three Saturday’s to accommodate absentee voters.
“We have really gone out of our way to provide every opportunity possible for people to vote, so that might be why our turnout has been higher than some of these other counties,” he said.
Election results will be available online at
sedaliademocrat.com, or directly through the county’s Website at
La Strada urged people to double-check their polling place location before heading to the polls.
Voters with questions or concerns may call the clerk’s office at 826-5000, ext. 918. La Strada also urged people with last minute concerns to call him on his cell phone at 281-7767, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I am a big believer that if you put a lot of work into the front end, it will pay off in the back end. Our office has put a lot of time in to make sure this election runs smoothly, but nothing is perfect, so I want people to know they can reach me any time if they have any questions or problems,” La Strada said.