Presidential primary brings out the voters

By | March 24, 2016

The Missouri Primary Election was held Tuesday, March 14, and the local voter turnout rate was higher than it’s been in a while.

Out of the 38,477 voters in Newton County, 15,103 votes were cast in the primary, representing 38.25 percent of registered voters.

“This turnout was very, very high and there were a lot more voters than what usually happens at a primary. I think it’s all about the candidates running,” said Kay Baum, Newton County clerk.

In 2012 the voter turnout for the primary was 7.5 percent, which is a dramatic difference compared to this year.

“We had 438 absentee ballots turned in, and the last two weeks we were swamped with absentee ballots,” said Baum.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced that the unofficial voter turnout in the statewide presidential primary was a record 38.86 percent. More than 1.5 million registered Missouri voters turned out to nominate party candidates for president.

“I want to thank the Missourians who made it to the polls to participate in our democracy and make their voices heard on March 8,” said Kander.

“I especially want to thank the local election authorities and poll workers for their hard work in the days leading up to the election and especially on election day itself.”

The final results will be certified approximately four weeks after election day. Each county has to wait until after 12 p.m. on the Friday after election to certify their results and send them in.

“It’s a law that we have to wait until the Friday after, and a part of that is because we have to wait to get military ballots from soldiers voting from overseas. They have until Friday to get their ballots turned into us,” said Baum.

The last day an absentee voter can vote is the day before the primary in the county clerk’s office at the courthouse.

“We got a new system for turning in ballots and this was the first time we got to use them,” said Baum, adding that the county received 25 new systems and every precinct had the new system.

“A new thing we had to change up was what the people used to vote. They had to use Sharpies to vote, which was something new.”

She said 92 people volunteered to help work the polls at all 23 precincts.

“I think the actual presidential election will be very good when we come to it, and I am excited to see the turnout then,” said Baum.

To see the election results for Newton County, please visit the Newton County Clerk’s website at www.newtoncountymo.com/election-results

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