Nodaway County Courthouse

(Maryville) -- Whether by absentee ballot or in person, election officials are urging residents to vote in next month's Missouri Primary.

Polls are open across the state August 2 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Seventeen precincts are open that day in Nodaway County alone. Nodaway County Clerk Melinda Patton tells KMA News traditionally, primary voter turnout in her county ranges between 30-35%. And, with some contested races at the congressional and legislative level, Patton hopes interest translates into strong voter participation.

"You know, we have seen a lot of interest," said Patton, "just because there's so many candidates, and you have incumbents that are not running again in several cases. Also, obviously, there are incumbents that are that, you know, people might necessarily be looking to keep there. So, we've seen some interest."

Patton also anticipates a good response for absentee voting. She says some of the ballots mailed out earlier have already returned.

"At the start of the absentee season," she said, "absentee voting starts six weeks before the actual election, we mail out to certain people who have signed up to be on our permanent absentee list. For whatever reason, they're incapable of getting out of the house now, or going to a polling precinct. So, those, I believe we mailed out about right around 170 of those back in June. At last count, the girls were saying we had received right around 100 of those back."

And, she estimates about 50 residents have voted absentee in her office. Patton says absentee voting deadlines are approaching.

"The last day to actually request a ballot to be mailed to you is this Wednesday," said Patton. "So, there is an application process for that, and it does have to have an original signature. That's for a ballot to be mailed to you wherever you're at--whether it be at school, or if you're away for work, or something like that. Then, the last day to vote in house (at the clerk's office) is the day before."

Patton's office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day before the election. Absentee voters may also cast ballots on the Saturday before the election from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, call the Nodaway County Clerk's Office at 660-582-2251.

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