Big ballot issues attract voters

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COLUMBIA- Primary elections on Tuesday morning attracted a big turnout as voters cast their ballots for some big issues. 

According to the Callaway County Clerk's office, the typical primary election draws 25 percent of registered voters in the county, but this election exceeded that.

The Boone County Clerk said rural voters could have a big impact in this election. As of noon on Tuesday, more than 160 voters had showed up to Harrisburg's polling place.

"It's just something I like to do. Every time a ballot comes up that I'm kind of interested in a lot of them," Pete Jackson said. 

In the last primary election, 280 Harrisburg residents voted. Election volunteers said they expect Tuesday's numbers to top that. 

"There are several issues that were important to my needs and those of the state," Mary Ridge said. 

Voters told KOMU the biggest issues are Amendment 1, also known as the Right to Farm amendment, Amendment 7 which would improve the state's infrastructure though a sales tax, and Boone County EPIC. Ridge said those issues alone would bring more voters to the polls than usual. 

"I really do. I think there will be quite a few who come out with strong opinions one way and another," Ridge said. 

Ashland also enjoyed an increase in its usual voting numbers. By 1 p.m., the number of voters was twice the number that voted in the April primary at the Ashland Optimist Center, one of the city's two polling locations.

The Cole County office said they expect to have voter turnout numbers posted online sometime Tuesday night and full results posted Wednesday morning. 

Polls will remain open until 7 p.m. on Tuesday.