From staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Long lines greeted early voters this morning when the polls opened and continue to some degree.
“At 6 a.m. we had a major line,” said Cindy Garton, an election worker at Fellowship Baptist Church, 2827 E. 32nd St.
Voters in Precincts 25 and 26 poll at the church and at 10 a.m. Precinct 26 showed 444 votes cast with 227 votes at Precinct 25.
Tony Kelley was voting on presidential and House races. He said he came to Joplin last year to conduct benefits after the tornado with his company, Castle Rock Music Productions, and liked it so well here he stayed.
He came here from Chicago and said he has noticed a difference in elections.
“I don’t feel I’m being infringed upon here like I did in Illinois,” he said, where he described liberal voters as using “Gestapo” like techniques to sway the vote.
“There’s a complete difference between here and Illinois. They’re worlds apart,” he said.
County Clerk Bonnie Earl said she is hearing reports of long lines at the polls throughout Jasper County. Asked her prediction for voter turnout she said she isn’t making any.
“That’s because absentee ballots are down. We had a little over 5,000 and last time (2008) it was 7,500,” for a presidential election year, Earl said. “I expect a good turnout but I don’t know what to say for a number.”