By Debby Woodin
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Jasper County’s new scanning system is recognizing most county-issued voter cards, but some of them and many driver’s licenses have proved to be troublesome today as primary voters go to cast ballots.
“Bring your new voting card,” is the message that precinct judge John Olson wanted to get out Tuesday morning. He was checking in voters of Precinct 23 at Villa Heights Christian Church, 2650 E. Seventh St.
“The voting card has worked every time but to scan in a driver’s license hasn’t come up too good,” Olson said. “The driver’s licenses are working only about one out of five times. We can punch it in by hand but it takes a while.”
County Clerk Bonnie Earl said she is aware that there have been problems, and that the new tech will work only with the newest of the driver’s licenses. There also are some voters cards that are faulty.
“When people have changed their address since the mass mailing of them, we printed the card off and something is off on our printer (that is causing the cards to not be read),” Earl said. “We need to check on that and get that taken care of before November.”
However, residents can vote without the voter card.
Voting started slow this morning but was picking up by 10 a.m., Olson said. There had been 142 ballots recorded at the precinct at 9:45 a.m. Only 25 of those were cast in the first hour of voting after the 7 a.m. opening, Olson said.
“That’s good for this precinct for this kind of election,” Olson said.
Election greeters at Fellowship Baptist Church, 2827 E. 32nd St., reported a similar voting pattern.
“It’s been pretty steady,” said greeter Cindy Garton. “It’s been a pretty good turnout,” so far.
Precinct 26 voting here had registered 120 votes by about 9:30 a.m. and Precinct 25 had 55 votes.
The early turnout is encouraging, said Earl.
“I’m glad to see it looks like a fairly good turnout and we’ll know tonight,” she said.
Voters, asked what they were interested in voting on, mostly cited the lieutenant governor and senate races. At Villa Heights, Margaret Crum was said she voted in favor of the question on whether to consolidate the village of Silver Creek with the city of Joplin.
“I voted ‘yes’ because I thought that’s what they wanted,” said Crum of the Silver Creek residents.
She said she knew there was some opposition to the proposal but she was aware that a number of village residents thought it would be cheaper for them to consolidate than to remain independent.