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Voters head to the polls today to vote in party primaries and to decide two proposed constitutional amendments. KSMU's Missy Shelton spoke with Greene County Clerk Richard Struckhoff about voter turnout.
Shelton: What will turnout be like?
Struckhoff: We're expecting record-breaking turnout. Our official predicition is between 40% and 50%. I expect it to be on the high end of that.
Shelton: Do you base that prediction on absentee voting?
Struckhoff: Yes. We've been very busy with absentees. We've got more than 3,000 absentees which is like a non-presidential November election.
Shelton: Why are you seeing this kind of turnout?
Struckhoff: It's a combination of things. Anytime you have social issues, like the constitutional amendments. Then in Springfield, we've got the utility question so that along with normal primary traffic we'd normally get in August leads to a larger turnout.
Shelton: What do you to prepare for this unusually large turnout?
Struckhoff: We began preparing months ago. This one does take a lot of preparation. It's one of the most difficult ones we administer. We need to remind people to be aware they'll need to make a decision about which party ballot they'll pick up. Or they may need an "issues only" ballot. Once they get their ballot, they can cast their vote.
Shelton: As you mentioned, there is an option for those who don't want to identify with a party.
Struckhoff: Right. We do have an "issues only" ballot.
Shelton: Any words of advice for voters...Perhaps ask them to be patient.
Struckhoff: You will see a line of voters. Remember that's a good thing. Be patient. It would help if you could look at sample ballots before going to the poll.
Shelton: I've been speaking with Greene County Clerk Richard Struckhoff about today's election. The polls are open now and will remain open until 7 this evening.