Strong turnout means some long lines, but adding precincts... - KOAM TV 7

Strong turnout means some long lines, but adding precincts isn't an option


Long lines on election day became a regular ordeal in Jasper County.  Some precincts like those at St. Paul's and Royal Heights Church usually have a strong turnout especially during a presidential election, but during off year balloting turnouts are dramatically low, sometimes as low as 12% of registered voters.

Adding precincts to ease long lines isn't an option according to Jasper County county clerk Bonnie Earl because of the cost of equipment and storing it along with labor.  At one time Jasper County had 60 precincts.

"You can't  find poll workers to work at that many, if anything we might have to reduce the size - now just to difficult  to find poll workers who are able to come to training's, who are able to stay from five in the morning until who knows what time at night," says Earl.  "It's an ongoing problem."

Earl says the presidential election cost around $160,000 in Jasper County.  Some polling locations allow voting there for free but other locations charge the county a fee and some communities don't want voters in schools for safety precautions so finding locations for voting can be a challenge.

Voter turnout across the Four States varied state by state.

In Missouri, 2.7 million voted, that's just under 66% of registered voters and a little less than the turnout in 2008.

In Oklahoma, 1.3 million voted, that's 61% of registered voters.

Arkansas sent 1.03 million to the polls - 65% of registered voters.

Kansas has yet to release final numbers.

One issue that brought voters out in Lamar was a school bond issue.  The Lamar School Bond issue would have increased property taxes to give the schools $10 million for improvements and renovations.

The measure did receive a simple majority of "Yes" votes, but it needed a 4/7 majority, which it fell short of by 70 votes.

For more Four State results visit our Election Results page.

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