Although it seems like the last election is barely over with, County Clerk Kevin Engler wants to remind voters that absentee voting for the April 6 Municipal Election started already on Tuesday.
Engler stated that there are two countywide issues on the ballot: The St. Francois County Health Board and the extension of the current 911 service tax.
“There is one new formation, which is Wolf Creek Fire Protection District, they’re asking for a formation and a tax in lieu of fire tags,” he said.
Most of the cities in St. Francois County will have city council and aldermanic races. School board races that have more candidates filed than seats open will appear on the ballot.
Due to the different combinations of races overlapping each area of the county, the county clerk will have to contend with 39 different ballots spread throughout the precincts in St. Francois County.
According to Engler, absentee voting this time will be different compared to the November General Election.
“In order to absentee vote in person, it has to be due to sickness, or possible absence on Election Day,” he said. “Now, we are not going to verify and go to people’s homes to see if they’re out of town the day of the election. But they have to give us one of those reasons why they want to vote in person.
“I fully appreciate that if someone is high risk and they want to stay away from everything, but they want to make sure their ballot is counted, they come in and do it that way. They use the sickness or possible absence as their reason.”
Traditionally, Engler expects only 10-12% turnout for the municipal election.
“It’s only about 20% of what we get in November,” he said. “There will probably be more activity in areas where there are more contested races.
"Park Hills has several contested races for mayor and city council. Wolf Creek, those people will probably be getting out to vote there, so we expect a little bit bigger turnout in those areas.”
All absentee voting in person will be at Election Central at 1101 Weber Road in Farmington. Voting hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, go to https://sfcgov.org/county-elections/ or call 573-454-2886.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at email@example.com