Tuesday is Primary Election Day, with contested races for both county and statewide offices, and voter turnout in Pettis County is expected to be at its highest in at least 20 years.
Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada is predicting between 30 to 34 percent voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary, a much larger turnout than any recent election.
“I’ve compiled the turnouts of the last 12 years. If it’s over 32 percent turnout, it’ll be the largest turnout we’ve had in at least 20 years,” La Strada said. “In 2014, we had a little over 29 percent turnout and that was the largest turnout in a long time since 2002, which was a 32 percent turnout. We’re feeling we’ll be in those ranges for sure.”
According to the Associated Press, the statewide prediction is 31 percent of registered voters will cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary elections. If the prediction holds true, that would be the highest voter turnout in a Missouri primary since 2004.
As of Friday afternoon, La Strada’s office had received a little more than 500 absentee ballots. Absentee voting continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. La Strada encouraged any voter who is unable to make it to the polls Tuesday to absentee vote. Polls in Pettis County will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’ve had lots of good phone calls, people making sure they’re properly registered. They’re coming up here to absentee vote,” La Strada said. “We encourage people to bring those voter reminders to the polls or some form of ID to make the process a lot easier and efficient.”
Because it is a primary election, voters will be asked to choose a political party to receive a ballot. Missouri recognizes the Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Constitution parties. Of the four contested county offices — assessor, eastern commissioner, western commissioner and coroner — only eastern commissioner will continue to be contested in the Nov. 8 general election, as there is only one Democratic candidate running in any contested county race.
“It’s exciting. It reminds me of the presidential preference primary (in March) right now,” La Strada said. “It was quiet for the first couple weeks, and these last two weeks, the political awareness is in the air. People are getting excited for Election Day. On Tuesday we feel we’ll have an exciting turnout.”
To prepare for Election Day, voters can visit pettiscomo.com to find their polling location and to view a sample ballot. On Election Day, voters can visit that same website to find a link to live updates as results come in that night.
For more information, call the Clerk’s Office at 660-826-5000 ext. 918 or La Strada’s cell phone at 660-281-7767.
The August primary ballot includes the following offices, although ballots may vary depending on a voter’s location or political party:
• U.S. Senator
· Democrat: Chief Wana Dubie, of Salem; Cori Bush, of Florissant; Jason Kander, of Columbia; and Robert Mack, of St. Louis.
· Republican: Roy Blunt, of Springfield (incumbent); Kristi Nichols, of Independence; Bernie Mowinski, of Sunrise Beach; and Ryan D. Luethy, of St. Louis.
· Libertarian: Jonathan Dine, of Kansas City; and Herschel L. Young, of Harrisonville.
· Constitution: Fred Ryman, of Jefferson City.
· Democrat: Leonard Joseph Steinman II, of Jefferson City; Chris Koster, of Jefferson City; Eric Morrison, of Kansas City; and Charles B. Wheeler, of Kansas City.
· Republican: Catherine Hanaway, of St. Louis; Eric Greitens, of St. Louis; John Brunner, of St. Louis; and Peter D. Kinder, of Jefferson City.
· Libertarian: Cisse W. Spragins, of Kansas City.
• Lieutenant Governor
· Democrat: Winston Apple, of Independence; Russ Carnahan, of St. Louis; and Tommie Pierson Sr., of St. Louis.
· Libertarian: Steven R. Hedrick, of Warrensburg.
• Secretary of State
· Democrat: Bill Clinton Young, of Kansas City; Robin Smith, of St. Louis; and MD Rabbi Alam, of Kansas City.
· Libertarian: Chris Morrill, of St. Louis.
• State Treasurer
· Democrat: Pat Contreras, of Kansas City; and Judy Baker, of Columbia.
· Republican: Eric Schmitt, of St. Louis.
· Libertarian: Sean O’Toole, of Kansas City.
• Attorney General
· Democrat: Jake Zimmerman, of St. Louis; and Teresa Hensley, of Raymore.
· Republican: Josh Hawley, of Columbia; and Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia.
• U.S. Representative, District 4
· Democrat: Gordon Christensen, of Columbia; and Jack Truman, of Lamar.
· Republican: John E. Webb, of Cleveland; and Vicky Hartzler, of Harrisonville (incumbent).
· Libertarian: Mark Bliss, of Warrensburg.
• State Representative, District 48
· Republican: Dave Muntzel, of Boonville (incumbent).
• State Representative, District 51
· Democrat: John Cozort, of Marshall.
· Republican: Dean Dohrman, of La Monte (incumbent).
• State Representative, District 52
· Democrat: Kyle Garner, of Sedalia.
· Republican: Nathan Beard, of Sedalia (incumbent).
• State Representative, District 54
· Democrat: Bob Gregory, of Leeton.
· Republican: Dan Houx, of Warrensburg.
· Libertarian: Steve Daugherty, of Warrensburg.
• Pettis County Eastern Commissioner
· Democrat: Charles McCormack, of Sedalia.
• Pettis County Western Commissioner
• Pettis County Assessor
• Pettis County Coroner
• Pettis County Public Administrator
· Democrat: Charli Ackerman, of Sedalia (incumbent).
• Pettis County Sheriff
· Republican: Kevin C. Bond, of Sedalia (incumbent).
• Pettis County Surveyor
· Democrat: Kerry Turpin, of Sedalia (incumbent).
• Pettis County Treasurer
· Republican: Kim Lyne, of La Monte (incumbent).
Visit SedaliaDemocrat.com to view profiles of each contested county candidate and several statewide candidates.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.