Will voters go to polls today?

Don Scheppers visited the County Clerk’s office Monday to vote absentee ballot for Tuesday’s election.

Don Scheppers visited the County Clerk’s office Monday to vote absentee ballot for Tuesday’s election. Photo by Julie Smith.

Cole County Clerk Marvin Register said he’s not going to venture a prediction for voter turnout for today’s municipal elections.

“I have no idea,” he said Monday. “I thought we would have more absentee ballots, but they are down. However, people have been coming in to the office today at a fairly steady rate to vote.”

As of Monday morning, Register said they had 747 absentee votes cast.

“I thought we’d be in the thousands,” he said. “You never know, though. When the polls open Tuesday that could change, but right now it’s quiet. Nobody’s saying a lot.”

Polls will be open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. today.

In today’s election, voters who live in the Jefferson City Public School District will be asked if they want to issue $79 million in general obligation bonds — thus raising their taxes by 30 cents per $100 assessed valuation — in order to build a new, replacement high school and a new elementary school on the city’s east end.

Voters also will be asked if they want to increase the district’s operating levy by 25 cents, funding that will be used to address the district’s transportation, technology, security and professional-development needs.

If passed, buses would pick up secondary students who live within a 1-mile radius of their school building, instead of the 3.5-mile radius used now.

Also on Tuesday’s ballot:

• In the race for the two open seats on the Jefferson City School Board, political newcomer Harold Coots has mounted a campaign against incumbent school board members Dennis Nickelson and Doug Whitehead.

• In the race for the two open seats on the Blair Oaks Board of Education, incumbent school board members Greg Russell and John Weber are facing challenges from Dawn Brooks and Brian Rackers, a pair of political newcomers.

Jefferson City voters will see races in three wards Tuesday for seats on the City Council.

Incumbents in the 2nd and 4th wards both face challenges to their seats on the council, while the 3rd Ward will choose between two challengers to fill an outgoing councilman’s seat.

In the 2nd Ward, incumbent Shawn Schulte faces Blake Markus; in the 3rd Ward, Len Stella is running against Ken Hussey; and in the 4th Ward, incumbent Bill Luebbert is facing Carlos Graham for the second time.

The 1st Ward seat, currently held by Bob Weber, was awarded to James Branch in the primary in early March because he won more than 50 percent of the vote.

Fifth Ward Councilman Ralph Bray, Municipal Judge Cotton Walker and City Prosecutor Brian Stumpe all are running unopposed.

News Tribune staff writers Madeleine Leroux and Kris Hilgedick contributed to this report.

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