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story.lead_photo.caption Steve Korsmeyer, poses for this Sept. 21, 2018 photo in his office of Cole County Clerk. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

If re-elected, incumbent Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer wants to implement some ideas he believes will lead to more people voting.

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Korsmeyer, a Republican, will face Green Party candidate Ann Moeckli in the Nov. 6 general election. Both candidates were unopposed in the August primary.

The county clerk is the primary election official for the county, overseeing the operations of voting precincts and ensuring accurate vote counts are taken. The clerk's office is also responsible for recording the actions taken during meetings of the County Commission.

Korsmeyer was first elected to the office in 2014 and said much has changed in four years about the way voting is done.

"A lot of the changes are due to cybersecurity, but fortunately I was able to purchase new equipment when I came into office and it's updated with the latest security enhancements to it," he said. "We paid around $200,000 for the equipment; and because we have this new equipment, we have saved $100,000 in election costs, so we have half of it already paid for and should have it completely paid off in the next few years. Programming, ballot costs and maintenance costs have all gone down thanks to this equipment."

Korsmeyer was elected after he retired following 34 years at Blackwell's Garage in Jefferson City. He still farms on land just outside St. Thomas.

"My first year, we only had one election, which was good for me because I had a lot to learn," he said. "Since then, we've had multiple elections each year, so it's been very busy. I really do enjoy working with the people in the office and our poll workers."

Korsmeyer, like many county clerks, wants to find ways to bring more people to the polls to vote in elections. He believes he has a unique idea to help with that effort.

"My future plans are to have a voting center to make it easier for people to go vote," he said. "Where I live, I have to drive 7 miles to vote in St. Thomas and then turn around and drive 12 miles to work in Jefferson City. I want a center in Jefferson City where anybody can go vote. If they're coming to work in Jefferson City instead of going back to their polling place to vote, they could come to the center and vote."

Korsmeyer said there were 35 polling places in Cole County when he entered the office. With the expense of new equipment and knowing some polling places had two precincts in the same location, Korsmeyer decided to reduce the number of voting locations to 28. He said that saved the county money in election costs.

If re-elected, Korsmeyer said, he will continue to work to get more young people registered to vote. He also believes potential legislation to remove having to provide a reason for voting absentee should help with polling place congestion.

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