2021’s election cycle will be much milder than 2020, but the Pettis County Clerk’s Office is gearing up for the April 6 Municipal Election.
Absentee voting starts Tuesday, Feb. 23, six weeks prior to Election Day. Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada is already handling a record-setting number of absentee ballots. His office is set to mail out 1,072 ballots Tuesday.
“That’s a pretty good size of people who are ready to vote, which we’re excited for,” La Strada said. “It’s higher than usual. It’s carrying over from COVID so people are taking advantage they can still absentee vote, it’s just the mail-out ballot option is no longer in existence. One thousand and seventy-two is the largest number of absentee ballots for a municipal election we’ve had. Which is great, people are obviously very intrigued in the election process after 2020.”
Registered voters can cast a ballot at the Clerk’s Office on the second floor of the Pettis County Courthouse from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until April 5. His office will also be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24. The last day to request a mailed absentee ballot is March 24.
The last day to register to vote in the April election is March 10.
“We’re encouraging people again, if you feel you can’t make it to the polls, during those six weeks, you can come up here (to my office),” La Strada said. “It’s just like in November and (the turnout) was awesome. Some people just didn’t realize they can absentee vote on the second floor.”
Sedalia voters will have a short ballot with only the Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education, but municipalities and school districts across the county will be voting on candidates and ballot measures. Two sub-districts for the Pettis County Ambulance District will also be selecting a representative in contested races. The most heated race is for the Pettis County Health Center Board of Trustees with 10 candidates competing for three seats.
Gov. Mike Parson had passed legislation last year expanding the types of reasons people could absentee vote and mail-in vote to help protect those at risk for the coronavirus, but that only applied to 2020 elections.
“Unfortunately the legislators had only made that for the past two elections so those excuses didn’t carry over for this election. We still advocate for people if they feel they can’t make it to their polling location, want to skip the crowds, that’s a valid reason for absentee voting,” La Strada said.
Polls will be open from 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 pettisclerk.com. For more information, visit pettisclerk.com or facebook.com/PettisCountyElectionsOffice or call the Clerk’s office at 660-826-5000 ext. 918 or La Strada’s cellphone at 660-281-7767.