Over 7,700 ballots already requested
ased on absentee ballot action, there is plenty of interest in the November presidential election in Platte County.
With the Nov. 3 election still nearly four weeks away, the Platte County Board of Elections has already received 7,700 requests for absentee ballots, says Chris Hershey, a director for the board of elections.
The 7,700 requests for absentee ballots thus far is already well ahead of the total absentee ballots cast in 2016. In the 2016 presidential election, there were 5,508 absentee ballots cast.
“It seems safe to say we will surpass that total this year,” Hershey said this week.
Mail-in balloting is also underway for those choosing that option. The mail-in option is a three step process: 1. Complete an application to request a mail-in ballot in person or by mail. 2. After receiving a ballot, fill it out and have the return envelope notarized. 3. Return your mail-in ballot through the U.S. mail only. (You cannot walk in your mail-in ballot, you must place it in the mail, officials emphasize).
Return of the requested mail-in ballot is different from a regular absentee ballot. Absentee ballots may be requested in person up until the day before Election Day. Ballots may be turned in by mail or in person. Your ballot must be received by 7 pm.. on Election Day, Nov. 3.
The last day to request that a ballot be mailed to you is Oct. 21.
ABSENTEE: Who is eligible?
You’re eligible to vote absentee without a notary if due to:
*Incapacity or confinement due to illness.
*In 2020, you have contracted coronavirus or are at-risk due to any of the following: age 65 or older; living in a long term car facility; have chronic lung disease/asthma; have a serious heart condition; are immunocompromised; have diabetes; have chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis; have liver disease.
You’re eligible to vote absentee with a notary if due to religious beliefs or practice; working as an election worker; incarceration, if still eligible to vote; certified participation in a confidentiality program; absence on election day from your election jurisdiction.
For any questions about eligibility or the absentee process, call the Platte County Board of Elections at 816.858.4400.
The Platte County Board of Elections is located at 2600 NW Prairie View Road in Platte City. The mailing address is PO Box 560, Platte City, Mo. 64079.
COVID-19 RELATED NEWS
“At the poll site, we have provided face masks and face shields for poll workers who don’t have their own,” says Hershey. “We are asking that social distancing markers be placed on the floor and that voting booths be spaced out to at least six feet. We are also providing a variety of disinfecting products for poll workers to use and hand sanitizers for poll workers and voters.”
In addition: “We are sending a box of disposable masks that poll workers may offer voters who forgot to wear a mask. We are urging everyone participating in Election Day activities to comply with guidance provided by the Platte County Health Department,” Hershey added.
The topic of election security/potential voter intimidation/voter “watch” efforts has been a topic on the minds of some Platte Countians who have contacted The Landmark in recent days.
Asked about security at the various polling sites in Platte County, Hershey said:
“Missouri law allows for parties to designate poll watchers. These are people who have been identified by a party chair several days before the election, who will be given an oath to uphold the state and U.S. constitution, and will have credentials from our office.
“People who may want to observe the poll site, but who have not gone through these steps will not be allowed in the poll site and will be asked to leave.”
Hershey said: “We don’t anticipate that it will be necessary, but if someone refuses to leave the poll site or threatens voters or election judges, law enforcement for the jurisdiction will be called to handle the situation.”
On a somewhat related note, Hershey said that if a voter returns a ballot by mail and would like to know if the election office has received it, they are welcome to call (816.858.4400) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to double check rather than to show up in person at a poll site.
“We expect Election Day to be busy and would prefer our poll workers spend it in checking in voters who need to vote, rather than checking ono voters who have already voted,” Hershey remarked.