Voter turnout up across state, average in Callaway

Photo by Stephanie Backus.

Statewide voter turnout neared 50 percent during the off-year election, and some counties reached as high as 61 percent, but County Clerk Linda Love said Callaway County was average for this type of election.

“Voter turnout was 45 percent,” she said. “It’s about average for a mid-term that’s got some issues on it that are of interest to the public.”

Love said absentee ballots were also average.

“We had about 900 or so four years ago during the mid-term election and we were close to that this year,” Love said. “We didn’t quite make that this election.”

Love said the issues on the ballot were the key to the turnout.

“I think the open county seats had a bearing in it, but the issues were really important to people as well,” she said.

Results in Callaway County showed a fairly even split in each race, implying many voters with straight party tickets.

“They can’t just vote straight party. They have to vote on each race,” Love said. “But from the results, there was definitely an increase in straight party tickets.”

Voters were very vocal about voting for Republicans at the polls.

“I basically voted all Republican because the President's a Democrat and I don't think he's doing a very good job,” said Michael Slizewski, of Fulton. “I'm trying to get all the Democrats out of office."

Lisa Dean, of Calwood, attributed her straight party vote to being conservative.

Dan G. Smith, of Calwood, and Gordon Groves, of Auxvasse, were much more vocal about their party votes.

“I voted straight Republican. For what you have to support to be a Democrat, there’s no way,” Smith said.

“I voted Republican because the Democrats are for abortion and that’s murder,” Groves said. “I don’t want to be a partaker of murder like they are.”

Love said the election process was fairly smooth, with the exception of one hiccup in the system.

“We had problems with the MCVR hookup with the Secretary of State’s office. It was offline all morning and part of the early afternoon,” Love said. “So we had to look up registered voters in the card file. It’s been a long time since we have had to do that, but voters were patient with us. We did it as quickly and efficiently as we could.”

Love said election judges did call throughout the day for voters who had moved and other minor issues, to make sure people could vote in the new precinct.

“People have moved can vote, but they need to vote in the new polling place,” Love said. “It takes a little time to get them squared away. Most of the people were very patient.”

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