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Voices and scenes from the polls: Boone County voters cast their ballots

The Boone County polls for the 2022 midterm elections opened at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Element5 Digital
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The Boone County polls for the 2022 midterm elections opened at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Boone County voters began trickling into polling places early Tuesday morning to select both county and statewide officials, as well as decide the fate of five constitutional amendments.

The Boone County polls for the 2022 midterm elections opened at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Voters will be choosing from a pool of candidates for positions such as Boone County presiding commissioner and the open U.S. Senate seat.

Five constitutional amendments, including a measure to legalize recreational marijuana, are also on the ballot.

Bill O’Neill, left, gets his ballot as volunteers Sam Goodfellow and Heather Lewandowski prepare new ballots on Tuesday at Columbia Public Library in Columbia. O’Neil said he was concerned about the abortion ruling, false narratives, election interference and programs limiting voting.
Cara Penquite
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Missourian
Bill O’Neill, left, gets his ballot as volunteers Sam Goodfellow and Heather Lewandowski prepare new ballots on Tuesday at Columbia Public Library in Columbia. O’Neil said he was concerned about the abortion ruling, false narratives, election interference and programs limiting voting.
Mary Cunningham volunteers as an election judge on Tuesday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia in Columbia. She said she is volunteering because she values the importance of voting.
Cara Penquite
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Unsplash
Mary Cunningham volunteers as an election judge on Tuesday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia in Columbia. She said she is volunteering because she values the importance of voting.

Kenneth Maurer, a 76-year-old retired truck driver, said he voted for Amendment 3 because marijuana helps with his depression and arthritis. Maurer voted Tuesday morning at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia.

Maya Killmade, a full-time MU student from St. Louis, voted at Campus Lutheran Church in Columbia on Election Day. She said that Amendment 3 brought her to the polls.

“That’s being talked about a lot and I saw YouTube ads for it and I think it’s important,” Killmade said.

Kelli Hopkins observes the polling process on Tuesday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. Hopkins serves as a watcher during the elections.
Valeryia Zakharyk
/
Missourian
Kelli Hopkins observes the polling process on Tuesday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. Hopkins serves as a watcher during the elections.

Additionally, voters will decide whether to retain judges on the Missouri Supreme Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.

Boone County voter Corri Flaker Fraser, a 44-year-old massage therapist, said that she voted to help guide the tide of democracy.

“We do still live in a democracy, as far as we’re told, we may as well flex that muscle,” Fraser said.

Fraser said she was reluctant to vote the way she did on the constitutional convention question, which is on the ballot every 20 years.

“I feel like that might open a whole can of worms,” Fraser said. “But I also feel like it’s important to review because we’re not stuck in the past — we have to move forward.”

Jon Adams, 47, voted in his first Boone County election on Tuesday. Adams and his family moved to the area three months ago.

“We’ve been out of the country for 13 years so I wanted to set the example for my kids,” Adams said. “We’ve been doing a lot of reading about the issues at home and sharing that with the kids.”

“One particular issue that stands out is the decriminalization of marijuana, particularly for the people who are in prison,” Adams said.

Blake Willoughby scans his ballot on Tuesday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. "It’s one of our most important rights in the country," Willoughby said. "It’s important to have our voices heard about who we want to be our representatives."
Valeryia Zakharyk
/
Missourian
Blake Willoughby scans his ballot on Tuesday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. "It’s one of our most important rights in the country," Willoughby said. "It’s important to have our voices heard about who we want to be our representatives."

At the Unitarian Universalist Church in Columbia, a jam in the polling machine caused a 10 minute setback for voters. Over the phone, representatives from the county clerk’s office guided poll workers through the issue. Those who were voting during the machine jam will have their ballots counted in the central scanner tonight, Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon wrote in an email to the Missourian.

This is the first year Missouri had no-excuse in-person absentee voting, which opened Oct. 25 and closed Monday evening. Nearly 3,000 absentee votes had been cast in Boone County as of Nov. 2 during the new early voting period, the Missourian reported.

A new Missouri law also requires voters to have a valid photo ID with an expiration date issued by either the federal government or the state. Provisional ballots are available for registered voters who do not have a valid ID.

To find polling precincts, go to the secretary of state’s website or the Boone County Clerk’s website under the Where Do I Vote? button.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.
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