here’s an election next Tuesday, Aug. 4 in Platte County, and not surprisingly during the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be some unique arrangements.
As far as the ballot itself, highlights include Platte County questions on a quarter cent sales tax for parks and recreation and a second quarter cent sales tax question for law enforcement operations. Voters in the first district will decide upon Republican primary candidates for commissioner, with Dagmar Wood and Dan Mason the choices.
See the election legal notices on pages B-3 and B-4 of this issue of The Landmark for a complete list of candidates and issues.
POLLING SITE CHANGES
As for the actual election operation, there are a few changes to note. Among them? Acrylic glass dividers at every polling site.
“After considering the public feedback we got in June regarding the election judges not wearing masks, we decided to purchase plexiglass dividers, reasoning that we can’t require someone to wear a mask but we could require them to put the divider on the table where they are working,” said Chris Hershey, one of two directors for the Platte County Board of Elections.
Since the June election, both Kansas City and the Platte County Health Department have issued mask mandates.
“Our poll workers understand that they are expected to comply with those mandates. We will still send the dividers,” Hershey remarked.
In addition, “everything that was in place for the June election, like cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, will be in place for this election.”
A couple of polling sites will be moved for this election. Notices have been sent to voters whose polling site has changed for Tuesday.
Changes include the Hoover and Shiloh Springs polling site being moved to the Platte City location.
“We’ve had a hard time staffing the Hoover site, particularly with experienced supervisors,” Hershey noted. “We include poll worker applications with the poll site move notices for those voters.”
Here’s another major change, this one for Platte City precinct voters: the voting location has been changed to the Platte County Community Center (YMCA) at 3101 Running Horse Road.
Platte City voters formally filled out their ballots at a church in downtown.
“The First Baptist Church of Platte City was sold and is no longer available to use as a poll site,” Hershey explained.
Access for voting at the YMCA is through the back doors. “There is parking back there and a dedicated entrance so we don’t have any overlap with regular YMCA traffic,” said Hershey.
WHAT TYPE OF TURNOUT
Local election officials are expecting turnout to be lower than normal for an August election.
“I don’t think a lot of people have the desire to mix at a poll site,” Hershey commented.
Hershey predicted a turnout of around 20%, “maybe even high teens.”
For comparison purposes, Platte County voter turnout in the August 2018 election was nearly 37 percent and in August of 2016 it was 21 percent.