Voter Turnout as Expected in Primary - The Missourian: Local News

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Voter Turnout as Expected in Primary

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Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2014 3:00 pm

Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door was on the money in her voter turnout prediction in Tuesday’s primary.

There was a 30 percent voter turnout in the election, which is higher than most nonpresidential elections in the county.

There were 20,806 votes cast in the election. There are 68,892 registered voters in Franklin County

Door attributes the turnout to the Washington annexation question, Constitution amendment propositions and the county recorder of deeds race.

Of the propositions, the farming amendment and highway sales tax likely attracted the most voters, she added.

Door herself was reelected to a fourth term in office, which she said is a testament to residents’ confidence in the job she is doing.

She defeated Stephen Pennington Jr. in the Republican primary. Door received 11,527 votes, or 81.37 percent of the votes, compared to Pennington’s 2,639 votes, or 18.63 percent.

“It warms my heart,” Door said. “It makes me feel good about the job I do and that people trust me to do it.”

She does not have an opponent in the November election and will begin her next term as clerk in January.

Election Day

According to Door, there were very few issues in the election, but there were many questions.

She told The Missourian that some people were angry when they didn’t understand the primary election process.

“Election judges don’t like to tell people what ballot they want,” Door explained. “A lot of people don’t understand primaries are done to narrow down elections.

“We had some issues with that,” she added.

Door, who has talked with other clerks and election judges in Missouri, said statewide, there were more questions about ballots than in most elections.

“I don’t know why. There were not as many votes, but the questions were comparable to the presidential elections,” she said.

Many of those questions were due to the propositions on the ballot, but Door noted that it also was due to voter discontent and bipartisanship

“It is a sign of the times,” she said. “The political atmosphere is rough now.”

There were very few issues with the election equipment, Door added.

She said some paper ballots were not being accepted by voting machines. She speculated that there could have been moisture in those ballots.

“It wasn’t a major issue,” Door said. “Every election we have little things that require tweaking next time.”

Possible Recount

Door said she is awaiting word from the state on a possible recount of the Missouri’s Right to Farm Constitutional amendment.

According to the Associated Press, there were nearly 1 million votes cast in the state and Amendment 1 carried by just over 2,500 votes, a margin of 0.2 percent. The measure was favored in most rural counties, but opposition in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia areas was nearly enough to offset it.

Missouri law allows for a recount if the victory margin is 0.5 percent or less, but the losing side must request it. The request can’t be made until the vote is certified, which could take up to three weeks, the AP reported.

In Franklin County there were 11,898 votes, or 58 percent, in favor of the amendment; and 6,439 votes, or 42 percent, against it.

Each county must conduct its own recount if it is ordered by the state. A state-level decision also would determine if the votes are counted by hand or machine.

“When there is hand counting versus machine, there is much more room for error,” she said.

During her 12-year tenure, there has been one statewide recount, Door added.

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