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Joplin residents "shouldn't lose their right to vote" - KOAM TV 7

MO Lt Governor: Joplin residents "shouldn't lose their right to vote"

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Posted August 3, 2012 - News release from Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's Office:

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder today asked Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to provide assistance and resources to Jasper County election officials to ensure voters are not disenfranchised due to last year's tornado.

The Jasper County Clerk reported this week that voter identification cards for more than 10 percent of Jasper County's approximately 80,000 voters have been returned by the Post Office. New cards were mailed in July, but about 10,000 cards have been sent back because the addresses on them no longer are valid. 

"It is imperative that you provide assistance and resources to remedy this situation to guarantee every citizen's constitutional right to vote," Kinder said in his letter to the Secretary of State. "I would hate to think that on top of the tragedy these Jasper County residents have already endured, they now face disenfranchisement for the upcoming elections.

"The people of Joplin and Jasper County have lost enough already. They shouldn't lose their right to vote."

Election officials encouraged voters who may have changed addresses after their homes were damaged or destroyed in the May 22, 2011, tornado to go to the County Clerk's office to change their addresses before the election. 

Reported July 31, 2012 by Lindsey Henry:  Jasper County officials say address changes are the reason why thousands of voter registration cards have been returned.

Over the past month 80,000 cards have been sent out to voters in the county - 10,000 of those were returned.

That was $6,000 worth of little slips.

Jasper County Clerk Bonnie Earl says that address changes since the May 22, 2011 tornado are the main reason for the returns.

"It's been over a year now and we're going into two big elections and it's really, really important that they vote in the precinct where they live," says Earl.

To change your address stop by the Jasper County courthouse in Joplin or Carthage.

The primary is August 7.  You can change your address at the polls but you must register to vote for the presidential election by September 25.

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