The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 4, 2012

Primary voting to decide most county races

Voters who want a say on who will occupy county offices Jasper and Newton counties in January had better show up to vote in Tuesday’s primary election.

That’s when almost all the decisions will be made on county races. Profiles on the candidates and issues in Missouri and Kansas are detailed in a convenient Voter Guide section included on Pages 3D-6D in today’s edition.

The races for elective offices in Jasper and Newton counties, except for a rare exception, are on the Republican primary ballot. In Jasper County, there is a three-way GOP race for sheriff, with the winner to face what is seen as only token opposition in November from a Libertarian Party candidate.

There also are contests — all Republican — for some state representative and Senate posts from the region. Voters also will be choosing party nominees who will square off in November in contests for U.S. Senate and House, Missouri governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer.

Kansas voters will be deciding county offices plus races for state Senate and House legislators, along with U.S. Congress.

Though more than a year has passed since the May 22, 2011, tornado in Joplin, Jasper County officials expect to be dealing with some problems still leftover from that disaster.

New voter identification cards were mailed out in early July and about 10,000 were returned to the county clerk’s office. Voter cards are not to be forwarded by the post office. Many were returned because they went to addresses in Joplin or Duquesne that were damaged or destroyed in the storm.

Election officials have urged residents to provide new address information to the clerk’s office, and many have in recent days, said Doris Moorehouse, a clerk in the elections office.

She noted that residents may make the changes or vote absentee from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at clerks’ offices on the main floor of the courthouse in Carthage or in Joplin, on the second floor of the Jasper County Courts Building at Sixth Street and Pearl Avenue.

Voters who have the new identification cards are urged to bring them to the polls, because they can be electronically scanned to provide information that will speed the voting process. Older voter cards, driver’s licenses and other forms of identification also will be accepted.

Two polling place changes are being made in deference to the high temperatures, according to election workers.

At First Community Church, 2007 E. 15th St. in Joplin, voters will enter via a west door and vote upstairs this election. The precinct serves voters in Joplin Precincts No. 5 and No. 7.

“They’ve got construction under way downstairs, so voters will be upstairs, where it’s air conditioned,” Moorehouse said.

Normally, voters in the Monitor Precinct vote at the Brooklyn Heights community building, but the polling place is being shifted this election to the air-conditioned Pleasant Valley Elementary School, 652 County Road 180.

Voting hours

On Tuesday, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Missouri and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Kansas.

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