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Democratic Party announces presidential primary plan for voters


The Pettis County Democratic Central Committee is giving voters a choice for the Democrat Party-Run Presidential Primary of a mail-in ballot or in-person voting on March 23 at the Heckart Community Center Room C.

Information provided by the Missouri Democratic Party announced the opening of the mailed ballot request period to vote in the presidential primary election scheduled on Saturday, March 23. Registered Missouri voters can request a mailed ballot by visiting request.mrgvote.com/Missouri or calling 855-433-8683.

Additionally, the Missouri Democratic Party announced the Democratic National Committee has approved MDP’s plan for Missouri’s 2024 Democratic presidential primary. The following details are confirmed, with more information available soon:

• Missouri’s Democratic presidential primary is scheduled for Saturday, March 23.

• The Democratic presidential primary will be a hybrid election, offering Missouri Democrats an opportunity to cast their vote by mail or at an in-person voting site from 8 a.m. until noon on the day of the primary.

• Pending final availability, at least one in-person voting site will be offered in each county, with additional sites in larger counties. Locally, Pettis County voters can cast a ballot on March 23 at the Heckart Community Center Room C.

• Missourians registered to vote by Feb. 21 with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office will be eligible to vote in the Missouri Democratic presidential preference primary election, so long as the voter is not registered as a Republican.

• For mail-in voting, voters can request ballots from Feb. 12 to March 12, and the ballot must be received by 10 a.m. March 23.

• Votes will be counted by March 25, with the results announcement to be made by March 28.

The MDP added, “In 2022, the Republican-controlled legislature passed HB 1878, which eliminated Missouri’s state-run presidential preference primary election and designated a party-run system for choosing presidential nominees.”

On Thursday, Feb. 1, Rene Vance, the chair of the Pettis County Democratic Central Committee, explained how the Democratic Primary will proceed for this election.

“We’ve had several Zoom meetings over this,” she noted. “Because, obviously, it was a debacle.”

She added people need clarification about the upcoming primary election due to the passage of HB 1878.

“They did not realize what the legislative process did last time,” she said. “But it is basically voter suppression. When you unaffiliate every voter who was already registered, how the heck is that possible?”

Vance added that although the county volunteered the Pettis County Courthouse for voting, she chose the Heckart Community Center because it’s ADA-accessible and has no stairs.

“I know the ADA rules and … you’ve got great parking (and) in and out access through Room C for voting purposes only,” she noted. “I will have a sandwich board that we’ve got from the Missouri Democrats; it will be outside that door, so there will be no reason not to know where to go.”

Volunteers will be on hand to help voters, but she added voters need to go online to request their ballot. Vance said they will have some ballots on hand the day of the primary, but she’s unsure how many will be available.

Information from the MDP said declared Democrats will receive a postcard after Feb. 1. Any registered voter (no party affiliation requirement, per state law) may vote from 8 a.m. to noon March 23.

“I believe the Republicans are going to do a somewhat ranked process,” Vance noted. “And we’re not. You vote just like you would in a regular primary. You’re going to cast a ballot.”

Democratic nominees are Joseph R. Biden Jr., Dean Phillips, Stephen P. Lyons, Armando Perez-Serrato, Marianne Williamson, Jason Michael Palmer, and uncommitted, which means anybody.

“If you have a voter registration card that says, ‘Republican,’ you will not be able to vote for the Democrats, period,” Vance explained. “And that’s kind of a given. Most of them say ‘Unaffiliated.’”

Faith Bemiss-McKinney can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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