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Adair County saw ‘record turnout’ during no-excuse absentee voting period

Nathan Lawrence

In the weeks leading up to the election, the Adair County Clerk’s office received 230 mail-in absentee ballots, and more than 1,000 people voted no-excuse absentee in the office.

County Clerk Sandy Collop said that’s about 6% turnout – before Election Day even began.

“It's been really, really crazy,” Collop said “And it's been lots of people out, and, of course, we really enjoy that. The more the merrier, as far as we're concerned.”

The new “no-excuse” absentee voting took place for two weeks prior to election day, and was a part of a new Missouri voting law that went into effect in August.

Another element of the new law is a photo ID requirement. Collop said voters must have a valid government-issued photo ID with them to vote, such as a Missouri driver’s or non-driver’s license, a military ID or a US passport.

But she added that voters without a valid ID can still cast a provisional ballot.

“So, they can vote a ballot and it will not go into the machine, but it will be put in an envelope, brought back to our office here, and then when the ballots are tabulated – then that's when the signature process comes into play,” Collop said. “Our judges then will pull up the voter ID card, and make sure that the registered voters signature matches the one on the voter ID card, and if it does, they're able to go and count that ballot.”

She said that due to the new photo ID requirements and accessible curbside voting for elderly or disabled voters, there could be some delays at polling locations. So, she asked voters to come prepared and have a little more patience with polling staff.

“We are going to have a few snags, but, of course, we'll work our way through those, and just [we’re] hoping that everybody can get along, and everybody has a real positive experience when they go to vote.”

Collop said there are ten polling locations throughout Adair County, and if voters are unsure of which location to vote at, they can either visit the Secretary of State’s website or give the Adair County Clerk’s office a call at 660-665-3350.

Polls are open today from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Rebecca Smith is an award-winning reporter and producer for the KBIA Health & Wealth Desk. Born and raised outside of Rolla, Missouri, she has a passion for diving into often overlooked issues that affect the rural populations of her state – especially stories that broaden people’s perception of “rural” life.
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