If absentee voting foreshadows the Nov. 6 general election, more young and diverse voters will be coming to the polls locally.
"I had thought we would do 1,500 absentee ballots, but we passed that and have several days to go before that closes," Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer said Friday. "I believe we'll see a voter turnout of 50 percent or more.
"So many who have been coming to the office to vote absentee are first-time voters," he said. "It's also very diverse ages with a lot of young people coming in."
As of Friday afternoon, the clerk's office had issued 1,870 absentee ballots for the November election and 1,498 had been returned to the office, Korsmeyer said.
For the August primary election, 1,472 absentee votes were cast in Cole County. In the November 2016 presidential election, there were 3,926 absentee votes cast.
Voting absentee is still an option for Cole County voters.
Voters can receive absentee ballots during regular business hours at the clerk's office, and the office also will be open from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 3, for absentee voting.
The deadline to cast an absentee ballot in the clerk's office is 5 p.m. Nov. 5. The deadline to mail a ballot is 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. Absentee ballots are due by 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 to the clerk's office.
If you will be out of town for the election, call the clerk's office at 573-634-9101 about obtaining a ballot. Those going to school or working outside the county on Election Day should go to colecounty.org/222/Absentee-Ballot-Request to fill out an absentee ballot request form, he said.
"If you live in the county, we prefer that you vote absentee in the office," Korsmeyer said. "When we send the absentee out, the person must sign the form, and then that has to be notarized as does the envelope that you send it back in. If you vote in the office, everything is done there at one time and you're through."
Absentee voting will continue at the clerk's office, located in the Cole County Courthouse Annex at 311 E. High St. in Jefferson City, until Oct. 31. The office is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.