Boone County voters face issues at polling places

5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago November 08, 2016 Nov 8, 2016 Tuesday, November 08 2016 Tuesday, November 08, 2016 1:51:00 PM CST in News
By: Chris Green, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA — Thousands of voters in Boone County are experiencing delayed voting times Tuesday due to not changing their addresses in time.

Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said that is the most common issue during an election, but her office is working extra hard to solve the problems. She said the office has added workers to handle phone lines and in-person address changes at polling places, to total 60 extra people.

Columbia resident Amelia Ramos moved to Columbia about six months ago and said she registered her new address on Oct. 12, which was the last day to do so. After a poll worker told her she’s not registered in Boone County, she called the County Clerk office, which said her address change was received several days later.

Noren said the problem was that Ramos submitted the address change after the deadline of 5 p.m. She said Ramos and everyone else who changes their addresses on Election Day can still vote, but the process can be inconvenient.

“They wait until Election Day, they go to their old polling place, they can’t vote at their old polling place, so they have to call, we have to update their address, notify the new polling place,” she said. “All of that takes a little bit of time.”

Processing a change of address on Election Day means delays for the voter involved, delays for other voters in the polling place and overwhelmed phone lines.

Another problem Noren said people might experience Tuesday is surge times when lines at polling places are extra long. She said the presidential elections cause more people to vote than other elections.

Noren said she expected to have more problems than usual because of the number of polling places that were added in Boone County. She said she thinks the workers are doing a good job handling mishaps.

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