Last updated: August 04. 2014 8:36PM - 813 Views
By Dennis Rich drich@civitasmedia.com

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Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada is estimating voter turnout to top 30 percent as Pettis Countians weigh in on statewide ballot issues and contested county races.

The Missouri Secretary of State’s office estimates a quarter of eligible voters will turn out for today’s contest, but La Strada said largely decisive county races — barring certified general election write-in candidates, races for prosecuting attorney and auditor will be decided today — could push local turnout to as high as 38 percent.

“People are engaged in this election with all of the constitutional amendments, plus I hear a lot of people talking about the prosecuting attorney and Division 6 judge races,” La Strada said. “So, I am expecting a little higher turnout for the primary, which is great. I am excited about that.”

He noted that Missourians do not register by political party and may pull any available ballot style — Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Constitution Party or non-partisan — in today’s contest.

“The only contested races are on the Republican ballot. I am not pushing people to vote one way or the other or for a specific candidate, but they should be aware of that if they want to vote in any of our contested races,” La Strada said.

La Strada based his estimates on previous off-year primary races and the strength of absentee voting. In August of 2010 539 absentee ballots were cast with final turnout at 28 percent. As of Monday afternoon La Strada said his office has received 666 absentee ballots, noting “based on those kinds of numbers we should go over 30 percent.”

Polls open today at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. La Strada reminded voters to bring their voter registration card, a photo ID, or some other form of identification, such as a utility bill with the voter’s current address.

People with questions about their registration or ballot styles may look online at pettiscomo.com. Election results will also be available at the county website after polls close, as well as online at sedaliademocrat.com.

Voters who have questions or encounter problems attempting to vote may call the clerk’s office at 826-5000 ext. 918, or reach La Strada on his cell phone at 660-281-7767.

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