The Missouri presidential preference election is Tuesday and Franklin County voters will encounter 33 candidates who at the time of the ballot printing, wanted to be president.

Obviously many of the people have suspended their campaigns since the ballots were finalized in December.

According to sample ballots provided by the county clerk’s office, Democrats lead with 22 individual candidates; Republicans have five; Green Party, three; Constitution Party, two; and there is one Libertarian Party candidate.

Absentee voting has been open in Franklin County for about a month. 

County Clerk Tim Baker, chief election officer, said 756 absentee requests were mailed out and thus far 451 people have voted.

Voters on Tuesday will be asked to declare a party and will be given a ballot with only presidential candidates from that political party.

The following is a look at what voters can expect to see when they enter their polling booth Tuesday.


In addition to the well-known and lesser-known names running for the Democratic nomination, there are several candidates most voters may have never heard of, many of whom have already dropped out of the race and others who were not on primary ballots in other states. 

In all, there are 22 candidates on the Missouri ballot, including Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, Leonard Steinman, Cory Booker, Joseph Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Velma Steinman, Henry Hewes, Andrew Yang, Roque De La Fuente, John Delaney, Julian Castro, Deval Patrick, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennet, Michael Bloomberg, Steve Burke, Robby Wells and William Haas.

There is also a box for voters to select if they are uncommitted to any one Democratic candidate.

In 2016, there were nine Democratic candidates with Bernie Sanders winning the primary that year in Franklin County.

Of the total 8,643 Democratic ballots cast in the presidential preference, Sanders garnered 4,785 votes and Hillary Clinton had 3,704.

All of the other seven candidates combined collected only 51 votes, and there were 96 uncommitted voters who intended to vote for a Democrat but had not yet settled on one particular candidate.

There were an additional seven Democratic ballots in which the voter either voted for two candidates, an overvote, or cast a blank ballot, an undervote.


There are five men on the Republican primary ballot in Franklin County in 2020, including Donald Trump, Bob Ely, Bill Weld, Joe Walsh and Matthew John Matern.

In 2016 the Republican field was much more crowded with nine candidates, most of whom were well-known politicians, including four former governors, and four current or former senators. 

There were a total of 20,419 Republican ballots cast and Trump took 44 percent, or 9.082. His closest rival was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 8,120 votes. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich collected 1,561 votes and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio received 1,150.

The other candidates, including Govs. Chris Christi, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee, along with Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum, collected only 426 votes combined.

There were 76 uncommitted ballots cast, two undervotes and two overvotes.


Jacob Hornberger is the lone Libertarian Party candidate on the 2020 ballots compared to a field of five in 2016.

There were 45 total votes cast for Libertarian candidates that year and 40 percent (18 votes) were uncommitted.

Austin Peterson led with 11 votes and was the only candidate to break double digits. The remaining four candidates collected 16 total votes combined. 


The Green Party has three candidates on the March 10 primary ballot, including Howie Hawkins, Dario Hunter and David Rolde.

In 2016, there were no Green Party candidates on Franklin County ballots.


Don Grundmann and Don Blankenship are running for president as Constitution Party candidates in 2020.

There were no Constitution Party candidates on the 2016 ballot but 18 undetermined ballots were cast for the party.

There are about 70 polling places in Franklin County. They will open at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning and be open until 7 p.m.

Baker estimates all of the votes will be counted and the uncertified results will be posted between 9 and 10 p.m.