Missouri voter turnout is on the rise

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JEFFERSON CITY – Voter turnout is rising across Missouri and the United States.

Tuesday is the presidential election between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Some counties in Missouri are seeing higher turnout than in past election cycles.

Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer said when he compared 2016’s projection with the numbers from 2008 and 2012, he sees an overall increase.

“In 2008, we had a 74 percent turnout. In 2012, we had a 70 percent turnout,” Korsmeyer said.

Currently, he expects the voter turnout to stay at or around 75 percent. There have been around 4,000 Missouri absentee ballots cast as of Monday afternoon.

Korsmeyer mentioned the potential increase may be due to the continuous media coverage the presidential election and local elections have received.

“A lot of money was spent on some of these races, so there’s a lot of controversial things with them,” Korsmeyer said.

Charlotte Morehouse originally didn't plan to vote, but changed her mind because she felt strongly about one of the candidates.

“It’s very important for people to voice their opinion. If they have never voted, I know people from every race that has never voted. Everybody needs to get up and get out and vote,” Morehouse said.

Other mid-Missouri counties expect a high turnout. As of Sunday, Callaway County had more than 1,100 absentee ballots cast.

County Clerk Denise Hubbard told the Fulton Sun she expects at least a 65 percent turnout this election cycle.

The United States is also seeing a rise in voter turnout. Chicago is currently seeing a nine percent increase in people casting votes before the official voting day as compared to 2008.

Polling locations in the state of Missouri will be open from six a.m. until seven p.m. Tuesday.