National front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in tough battles in Missouri’s presidential primaries.
With three-quarters at press time, of the precincts reporting results, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had a slight lead over former Secretary of State Clinton in the Democratic primary. But many votes remained to be counted in the St. Louis area, where Clinton was leading.
In the Republican primary, Trump was in a dead heat with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio trailed well behind in Missouri’s Republican primary.
Missouri victories by Clinton and Trump could bolster their national advantages in the delegate race. Clinton also won Florida, North Carolina and Ohio on Tuesday.
Trump won Florida but lost to Kasich in Ohio’s primary. Trump also won in North Carolina and Illinois.
Pettis County voters chose Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Primary.
With 19 of 19 precincts reporting countywide, the unofficial results on the Democratic front, show Sanders garnered 1,509 votes or 53.47 percent of the vote compared to Hillary Clinton’s 1,265 votes or 44.83 percent of the vote. On the Republican side, Trump received 3,343 votes or 45.29 percent compared to Ted Cruz with 2,697 votes or 36.53 percent.
After the final votes were counted Tuesday, one result was abundantly clear, the voters of Pettis County are concerned about the future of the United States, coming out in near record numbers to cast their ballots in the Presidential Preference Primary.
Prior to the election La Strada had predicted a turnout of between 45 to 50 percent.
Pettis County reported a 40 percent turnout with 10,242 of the counties 26,010 registered voters casting a ballot on Tuesday.
Four years ago, the turnout was6 percent and in 2008, the last time there was an open seat for the presidency the voter turnout was at 30 percent.
“I think the fact that there will be a new president in office is part of the reason for the excitement but another factor simply has to be political climate in the country right now; we have a lot of really unique candidates running for the presidency and there is a lot going on,” La Strada said. “There is a lot of social networking going on and it is a much different society than it was 20 years ago.
“I’ve seen people at the polling places today while I have been out, that I have never seen voting before,” La Strada added. “I think people are showing their voices tonight with their vote and want to make their voice heard.”
Other factors La Strada said contributed to the high turnout included the good weather those going to the polling places encountered, as well as the new mailers sent by La Strada’s office to remind voters of Tuesday’s election.
“The new cards were a way to remind the voters of the election, their polling place and they had the person’s voter identification number on them,” La Strada said. “I had several people tell me how much they appreciated the card as I was out at the polling locations.”
La Strada also said that the voting process seemed to be smooth something that was made possible by two factors.
“The poll pads definitely helped in the process, because all a person had to do was provide their identification, the election officials had to scan those and verify the id and then the voter simply had to sign off on the touch pad,” La Strada explained. “We do have the old paper rosters on hand if we need them for back up but this (The poll pads) makes for a much smoother voting experience.
“I really need to commend my election clerks and workers,” La Strada added. “They are a great, great group of workers as are the people in the office who were there fielding calls today; those are the people, the ones in the trenches who make the elections possible and we simply couldn’t do this without them.”
La Strada said that although it had been an incredibly busy day at the polling places, there were no reports of long lines or displeased voters.
“I’m really happy with how today went as far as how smooth the voting process was,” La Strada said. “The good news is that people were out voting; we’ll be right back at it and do it again in three weeks with the April election.”
Photos by Faith Bemiss | Democrat