One-third of Boone County's polling places are different than 2016
COLUMBIA - One-third of Boone County's polling locations are different from 2016, according to Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks.
38 of the 114 precincts in Boone County, or about one in three, have changed their polling locations from the November 2016 general election.
For this election season, Boone County has also added 17 new polling places in comparison to voting in August. Burks said that's due to increased voter turnout.
Burks said that adding more polling locations is not unusual because the locations change based on projections for voter turnout.
“We break out our precincts that are assigned to polling locations based on the number of voters that are expected there,” said Burks. “The higher turnout we are expecting the more locations we have so we can avoid longer wait times.”
However, according to Boone County resident Tom Kowalewski, the changing in polling places has made it more difficult for those in low-income areas to get to their voting locations.
In November 2016, residents from precinct 34 previously voted at the American Legion, which is about 1 mile from the area.
KOMU 8 News reported that residents from the El Chaparral neighborhood, where Kowalewski lives, would vote at The Crossing Church in April for the local election.
Now, for the upcoming November 6th election, residents from this area will have to travel to about 3 miles to Olivet Christian Church to vote at their new polling location.
A change Kowalewski said he thought was a mistake at first because it's so far out of the way from his house.
“It is very normal we have always done this, that's why we send out sample ballots to let voters know where their new polling place is,” said Burks. “No one’s ever happy to be assigned to a new polling place but it’s all done to avoid longer wait times.”
Kowalewski said that this year has been the most conflict that he has seen with polling locations in Boone County since he has lived in Columbia since 1971.
“That’s the reason for the county clerk to be in business,” said Kowalewski. “I mean you're not trying to promote one party, you're not trying to promote the other party, you're making sure all the people of that county have an opportunity to vote easily and have good access.”
Burks said voters can call his office for transportation assistance.
"Or if a polling location doesn't work for you you can vote at the Boone County Government Office," he said.
Uber has announced an initiative that will provide discounted rides to polling stations on Election Day. The Election Day promo code will be available within the updated version on the app on Election Day. However, be cautious as the $10 off discount code only applies to a single ride there.