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Boone County Clerk encourages Columbians to come out and vote in Tuesday's Special Election

Elections in Boone County.jpg
Rebecca Smith
/
KBIA

There’s an election for Columbia residents coming up on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. On this single issue ballot, voters will decide if they will keep the local parks sales tax rate for an additional ten years.

KBIA’s Katie Quinn sat down with Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon to discuss the upcoming election and some ways they’re working to increase voter turnout.

Katie Quinn: Is that common to just have a city election versus a whole county election?

Brianna Lennon: In odd numbered years, it's definitely something that happens more often. So, in odd numbered years, like this year's 2021, we always have an April election, which is the municipal election most people are familiar with – we would vote on city council and school board and things like that.

The August and November dates in those odd numbered years are always available under state law for an entity to put something on the ballot, and historically, we have had a number of, you know, single issue or single candidate single entities – things that end up in those odd numbered years.

This year, we didn't have anything in August, but we do have this one in November.

"Remember that the election is on Tuesday, but we are still open for absentee voting in our office, if that applies to you until Monday. So, feel free to stop by. We're also open on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., if you can't make it into our office for absentee voting during weekdays."
Brianna Lennon, Boone County Clerk

Katie Quinn: And then talking about polling locations, have any polling locations changed since the last election?

Brianna Lennon: Yes, so for smaller elections, especially since this one is only for the City of Columbia, we only have polling locations within the city of Columbia. So, we always encourage people, no matter what the election is to go onto our website, which is vote.boonemo.org, and you can look up where your polling place is going to be for the election [and] you can also look up the sample ballot.

So, we have a map as well, that you can see all of the polling locations in Boone County, and we always have our office – at the Boone County Government Center – is a central polling place.

So, if you are downtown – if you happen to be downtown on election day – you don't have to rush to get to your own poll, you can come to the Boone County Government Center, and that will allow you to vote no matter where you live,

Katie Quinn: A special election, particularly for just a city with a single issue, it's most likely going to have a lower turnout than a general election. How would you recommend getting support and gathering people to vote?

Brianna Lennon: I mean, absolutely, voter turnout is always something that we are striving to increase, and we tried to do our best by putting out information on our social media and on our website and trying to bring attention to it in other ways.

Like we have an “I Voted” sticker contest that's happening right now too, so that people can be mindful of the ability to participate in democracy and hopefully, remember that there is an election that is coming up that they can participate in.

So, really doing things like this – bringing attention to the fact that an election is coming up and that there are resources available to see where you vote and what you're going to be voting on. That's what we try to do is just direct people to the sources of information.

Katie Quinn: And Brianna, to end our interview, what would you like to say to the voters of Columbia?

Brianna Lennon: Just be an informed voter. Go to our website or call our office if you have any questions about the election at all.

Remember that the election is on Tuesday, but we are still open for absentee voting in our office, if that applies to you until Monday. So, feel free to stop by. We're also open on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., if you can't make it into our office for absentee voting during weekdays.

Katie Quinn studies radio journalism and political science at the University of Missouri- Columbia. She comes from a small town outside of St. Louis called Fenton.