With less than two weeks remaining before the Nov. 6 midterm election, St. Francois County Clerk Mark Hedrick is gearing up for a high turnout as a number of state and county issues will be on the ballot — including the candidate who will be filling his shoes after his retirement from elected office at the end of December.
Hedrick provided an update to the county commissioners regarding deadlines and other information regarding the upcoming election at their Oct. 23 meeting.
“As of this morning we have received 774 absentee ballots either in office or in the mail,” he said. “Compared to 2014, the other midterm election, we had 895 — so, we will surpass that. Now for 2016, we had 2,330. We will probably not reach that level, but we are going to be up, so there is more interest in the election.
“The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 31 — Halloween. They can vote in office up through 5 p.m. the Monday prior to the election (Nov. 5). We will be open on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 until noon for absentee voting.”
Hedrick noted that there has been a polling place change that voters should keep in mind.
“We have combined two polling places,” he said. “We have combined Busiek in with Farmington [Ward] 4, which are located pretty close together anyway. They have been combined together due to cost effectiveness. Busiek wasn’t very large. It was a smaller precinct and there were times we didn’t even have it open due to items on the ballot. So, they have been moved in with Farmington [Ward] 4. They have all been notified of this.
Hedrick also noted that there will be a new polling place for Ward 4 elections that will provide a better facility for county voters.
“We have moved the polling place with the help of VFW Post 5896,” he said. “They voted that we could use their post. There’s a lot better parking there. It’s a much larger facility for us to be able to vote. They have been moved from the school administrative office on Ste. Genevieve to the VFW post on Karsch.
“I know the parking at the school office was really poor. It was hard to find a place to park on a busy election and it was a small location on the inside where people were really close together going to vote. People were lined up right by the voting booths. This will give us more room and it’s going to work out better for the election.”
On election day all Missouri precincts will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for voting.
“We have moved the [Ward 4] polling place with the help of VFW Post 5896.” — SFC Clerk Mark Hedrick
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or email@example.com