Boone County voters get extra chance to vote before upcoming election

4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago Saturday, March 31 2018 Mar 31, 2018 Saturday, March 31, 2018 5:25:00 PM CDT March 31, 2018 in News
By: Eva Cheng, KOMU 8 Reporter
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BOONE COUNTY - The extra business hours Saturday at the Boone County Clerk’s office have allowed 19 voters to get their absentee ballots in before they go out of town.

County Clerk Taylor Burks said Saturday's turnout was positive and that 19 voters make up about 5 percent of all absentee ballots returned so far.

Burks said the office always tries to open for a few hours on the Saturday before an election because the normal hours Monday through Friday don’t work for everyone.

“Some voters who are going to be out of the county during the normal election day may not have the flexibility to come in during the work week when we are open,” he said.

Boone County Resident Tony Wilkerson said he would not be able to vote in most election cycles if the office weren't open on special days, such as Saturday.

“I’m a truck driver. That’s why I came in today because I’ll be gone whenever the election’s on,” Wilkerson said. “It’s just convenient, because you know, on weeks, I’m always gone.”

Burks said social media helped the office get the word out about the extra hours. He posted the expanded schedule on Twitter Friday morning. He said the office makes sure to tweet out information before every election.

“Social media also allows us to reach folks that may not read the newspaper or may not watch the evening news,” he said. 

The election on April 3 will be the first municipal election where local voters face the new photo voter ID law, according to Burks.  

The Missouri Secretary of State’s website says since the new law (HB 1631) took effect last June, registered voters must carry one of the three right forms of IDs when they go to the polls.

   • Option 1: Provide a Missouri drivers or non-drivers license, U.S. passport, or military ID

   • Option 2: Provide a secondary form of identification (voter registration card, ID from a Missouri university, utility bill, bank statement, etc.) and sign a statement confirming identity

   • Option 3: If the voter has no form of identification, but is a registered voter, they may cast a provisional ballot.

Burks said Option 3 is an “important thing to remember” with new laws.

“If you are registered to vote here in Boone County, we’ll let you vote - even if you don’t have your ID,” he said.

Burks said an ID-less vote would count after “a bipartisan team” verifies the voter’s registration information and matches the signature with the one in the voter registry.

He said he still encourages voters to bring photo IDs because they help speed up the process. 

“Missouri Driver’s License - that’s the easiest way to check in. It comes with a barcode so we can scan that in. It doesn't take time for us to look up the voter’s information, neither does the voter have to sign an affidavit,” he said.   

KOMU previously reported some voters’ polling locations changed since the last election, and they can find the new locations on the county government’s website.

Residents have until April 2 to vote by absentee ballot in person.

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