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Election crews put voting machines through a practice run - KOAM TV 7

Election crews put voting machines through a practice run

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Election crews put voting machines through a practice run today.

The election is less than two weeks away and some Jasper County voters will move polling places again.

With much rebuilding underway several old polling places are back up and ready for voters:  the Joplin Housing Authority and St. Paul's United Methodist Church.

New voter ID cards are going out today while election workers conducted an official ballot test run.

Representatives of both political parties fed ballots into a voting machine for a check of its programming.  It alerts them to over voting, when too many candidates are marked and under voting if a ballot is blank.

Jasper County Clerk Bonnie Earl says the test is routinely done before every election.

A few election workers are casting absentee ballots knowing they'll be busy election day, but Earl says she's shocked at how low those numbers are this close to voting day.

"For the presidential election, the last presidential election we had between 7,500 and 8,000 absentee voters, and this year we've had right at 2,300, maybe 2,400 by now," says Earl.  "I'm not understanding where the absentee voters are.  I hope that's not a sign we'll have a low voter turnout because I do hope we have a good turnout on election day."

Earl orders ballots to cover 80% of registered voters in Jasper County.  In the last presidential election 49% of eligible voters cast ballots.

In non-presidential elections, 10% to 20% of registered voters typically cast ballots.

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