he general election is next Tuesday, Nov. 3, and there is no lack of interest this year.
In fact, have you voted yet? A lot of Platte Countians have. A head-turning total of more than 13,000 ballots had already been cast as of Tuesday, according to the Platte County Board of Elections.
“We’ve had 14,762 requests for ballots, which includes ballots that were mailed and in-person,” said Chris Hersey, a director for the election board.
More than 6,000 people have already voted in person in the board of elections office in Platte City and more than 7,000 ballots have been returned that had been sent by mail, Hershey said.
Of the 14,762 requests, “there’s only something like 1,600 yet to be returned to us,” Hershey told The Landmark Tuesday.
No doubt the presidential election between incumbent Donald Trump, Republican, and Joe Biden, the Democrat challenger, is driving much of the interest.
During the last presidential election in 2016, voter turnout in Platte County was 78.61 percent.
“I think we’ll go over 80 percent this time,” Hershey said, then made an exact prediction of 82 percent.
There are plenty of state and local candidates and issues on the ballot as well. See the entire ballot in the legal notices section of this issue of The Landmark.
“Anyone who requested a ballot but hasn’t returned it should not go to their polling site, they should come to our office (2600 NW Prairie View Road in Platte City). The poll workers will not be able to check them in because they will be marked as having already received a ballot,” Hershey said.
“The only poll watchers allowed in the poll sites will have been submitted by party central committees, and verified by our office. People attempting to watch without having gone through those steps will be asked to leave,” Hershey explained.
“I’m sorry I have to say this, but we’ve gotten a lot of questions, so as a reminder, it is a violation of state statute to carry a firearm into the poll site or within 25 feet of the front door. Our election judges will be working to maintain a safe and comfortable space to vote. Voter cooperation in meeting that goal is greatly appreciated,” Hershey added.
As for COVID-19 concerns, Hershey said: “We are working with our poll sites and election judges to implement the most effective sanitation and traffic flow plan for each poll site. We’ve added a dedicated greeting/cleaning position to help make sure common surfaces are regularly disinfected, and to facilitate social distancing.”
State highlights on the ballot include a race for governor between incumbent Mike Parson and challenger Nicole Galloway, as well as two proposed constitutional amendments.
Locally, there’s a contested race for the second district (northern part of the county) county commission post between David Park, Democrat, and Joe Vanover, Republican. Current second district John Elliott did not seek re-election.
There’s a race for state representative in district 13. The battle between Democrat Vic Abundis and Republican Sean Pouche has taken on a nasty tone in the closing days with an anti-Abundis flyer funded by the House Republican Campaign Committee, Inc. (see related story).
State rep races in district 11 featuring Brenda Shields, Republican, and Brady Lee O’Dell, Democrat; in district 12 between Josh Hurlbert, Republican, and Wade Hugh Kiefer, Democrat; and in district 14 between Eric Holmes, Republican, and Ashley Aune, Democrat, seem to have been less dramatic in tone to this point.
In a race for Congress, longtime representative Sam Graves, Republican in the sixth district, is being challenged by Gena Ross, Democrat of Platte City.
Statewide, in addition to the governor’s race, there are races for secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, and lieutenant governor.