The reasons differ from state to state, but county clerks in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma predict high turnout for the November midterm elections that are about three weeks away.

Nationwide, issues such as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's controversial confirmation hearings and singer Taylor Swift's endorsement of Tennessee candidates are credited for sending voter registrations skyrocketing. While local election officials aren't seeing similar surges, they do see a spike.

Missouri's voter registration deadline was last week — officials in both Jasper and Newton counties are accepting registration forms with an Oct. 10 postmark. Both counties report that their registrations are up from the previous election by at least 1,000 — more than 1,400 in Jasper and about 1,000 in Newton.

Newton County Clerk Kay Baum said she thinks statewide questions, including three about legalizing medical marijuana, are behind the surge.

"We do have a judge race that's going on, but I think a lot of them are for the marijuana issues," Baum said. "Maybe the redistricting question is bringing some in. Maybe it's just a national trend."

Jasper County Clerk Marilyn Baugh also leaned toward the state questions, as well as a competitive race for a U.S. Senate seat. Both of those will translate to a high voter turnout in November, she said.

"The race between (Sen. Claire) McCaskill and (Attorney General Josh) Hawley and the marijuana issues," Baugh said. "Forecasting turnout is an uneducated guess most times, but I'm going to project we have a turnout of more than 50 percent."

Baugh said political groups and other organizations have been helping to register voters, and the steps are aided with the state's online registration system.

But state officials say they haven't seen a statewide surge thanks to recent politics. Maura Browning, director of communications for the secretary of state's office, said that the number of voters is checked monthly, and that there has been a small rise each month for the last six months, but nothing that resembles a surge.

That's not the case in Oklahoma, where the state's election board secretary announced last week that the number of voter registrations had increased by more than 76,000 across the state since Jan. 15. Republicans took the lead in new registrations, accounting for more than 60 percent of the new voters in the state that requires naming an affiliation in order to vote.

Tricia Snyder, a clerk with the Ottawa County Election Board, said she has seen that statewide trend locally.

"A lot of people are changing to Republican," Snyder said. "I think the thing with Kavanaugh got a lot of people in this county stirred up."

Kansas election officials are also expecting a crowd. Julie Rybnick, director of election services for Crawford County, said that numbers for advance ballot by mail are up significantly, and many voters have been calling to check that everything is OK with their registration status.

"There is definitely an upward trend in interest," Rybnick said. "A lot of people are asking for sample ballots so they can see who is running and research those candidates. We're anticipating a crowd."

Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.