Atchison County Courthouse

(Rock Port) -- Voters in northwest Missouri will encounter one big change at the polls in Tuesday's municipal elections.

Atchison County Clerk Suzette Taylor reminds voters that Missouri's new voter I-D law is now in effect. Taylor tells KMA News the new law requires anyone showing up at the polls to present a photo identification before casting ballots.

"I want to remind all the voters when they go to the polls," said Taylor, "to please bring their photo I-D, because they will be required to show that to vote. They will not be turned away. We have some options in place that they can still vote, if they just have their voter I-D card, or some of the other I-Ds that were acceptable in the past. But, that new law is in effect, and we just want to remind everybody to bring their Missouri driver's license, a passport, or any kind of government-issued photo I-D that does have their picture on it."

Taylor, however, doesn't believe the I-D requirement will impact voter turnout in this election.

"We have had a lot of advertising about it," she said, "and put the word out there. But, honestly, when that voter I-D law was passed several years ago, then overturned by the Supreme Court, we just kind of stuck with it. My judges feel over 90% of the people just automatically show their voter I-D, anyway. I'm not expecting it to be a big issue at all."

One factor that may impact voter turnout is the unseasonably cold and wet spring weather. Taylor, however, says voters have expressed interest in big ballot items, such as the Fairfax R-3 School District's proposition commitment referendum, and the city of Tarkio's local use tax question.

"Obviously, I think the weather is going to play a little bit of a role in that," said Taylor, "with our little surprise snowstorm down here. The absentee turnout has been considerably low, but I still feel like that anytime there are some school issues and tax questions on the ballot, people still turn out to vote."

Other notable election items include a race for the Tarkio R-1 School Board. Three candidates seek two spots on the board: Rachel Graves, Sam Hannah and Garrett Wood. There's also races for the Tarkio Special Road District and Tarkio Rural Fire District, as well as a West Atchison County rural fire protection levy question, and the Phelps City special road question. Taylor says there's no changes in polling locations for this election.

"In Rock Port, it will be the Velma Houts Building," she said. "In Fairfax, it will be City Hall. In Tarkio, it will be the Farmers State Bank In Westboro, it will be the Community Room, and in Watson, it will be the Community Room."

Polls across Missouri are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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