Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer predicts local voter turnout for the Aug. 4 primary election will match the numbers seen in 2016.
"That year, we had a 35 percent turnout for the August primary, and I think we'll be around that level this year," Korsmeyer said. "We've had good response for absentee voting, so I'm thinking it will be a busy day at the polls."
Korsmeyer believes the large number of contested elections will drive voters to the polls.
Due to the expected heavy turnout, he said, his office has 146 poll workers signed up.
"We had poll worker training this week, and they seemed to be ready to go," Korsmeyer said. "It took all of our reserves to get all the positions filled. We have quite a few new people for this election."
As for precautions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cole County voters will not be required to wear masks to vote but can if they want to, Korsmeyer said. Tables will be positioned at the polling places so voters will be able to maintain 6 feet of physical distance, as recommended by the Cole County Health Department.
"If people want to bring their own blue or black ink pen to the poll, that's fine, and they don't have to use ours," he said. "We'll have disinfectant there so when people sign the poll pad they can use that before and after."
What to expect at the polls
Those voting Tuesday will have to choose which political party's ballot they want to cast.
Those planning to vote should have their driver's license and voter registration cards with them to help get through the check-in at the poll faster.
Voters should make sure they have their correct, current address on their registration card, Korsmeyer noted.
He said several people who apparently moved had not changed their address information with the county clerk's office. An incorrect address on a voter registration card can mean delays at the polls, and he expects poll workers go through address change procedures often Tuesday.
Absentee voting continues in the clerk's office, located on the second floor of the Cole County Courthouse Annex, 311 E. High St. in Jefferson City. The deadline to cast an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. Monday.
As of Friday, 730 people had cast absentee ballots in the clerk's office.
July 22 was the last day to mail out absentee ballots, and 1,938 were issued. As of Friday, 1,704 had been returned to the clerk's office.
For more information about voting procedures and where to vote, call the Cole County Clerk's Office at 573-634-9101 or visit colecounty.org/clerk.
What's up for a vote?
See the News Tribune's Voter's Guide on page A9 of today's edition for a more detailed look at local candidates.
Races to be decided by Cole County voters in the Aug. 4 election include:
Republican candidates for Division 2 circuit judge are David Bandre and incumbent Dan Green. There are no Democratic candidates for the position.
Republican candidates for Division 3 circuit judge are Cotton Walker and Mark Richardson. There are no Democratic candidates for the position.
Republican candidates for Division 5 associate circuit judge are Brian Stumpe, Todd Smith, Matt Willis and Tim Anderson. The winner of the Republican primary will face uncontested Democratic candidate Scott Evans in the November general election.
Republican candidates for Cole County assessor are Jonathan Roy Meyers, Rick Prather, Alex Meller and incumbent Chris Estes. There are no Democratic candidates for the position.
Republican candidates for Cole County Western District commissioner are Gary Bemboom, Harry Otto and incumbent Kris Scheperle. There are no Democratic candidates for the position.
Republican candidates for Cole County Eastern District commissioner are Rick Mihalevich and incumbent Jeff Hoelscher.
Republican Sheriff John Wheeler, Republican Treasurer Eric Peters and Republican Public Administrator Ralph Jobe are unopposed in the primary, and there are no Democratic candidates running for those positions.
Along with local races, there are races for statewide offices on the primary ballot, including Republican and Democratic races for governor and lieutenant governor, as well as a Democratic race for attorney general.
Also on the ballot is the statewide issue of Medicaid expansion. If voters approve Amendment 2, Missouri would join 36 other states in expanding Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level.