By Kyle Siegel
With local elections looming this April, Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada and his staff are gearing up for the task soon after the General Election in November.
La Strada informed the News-Journal that several polling places will be shut down for this election due to a lack of voting issues.
“In this election we had to shut down four of the townships due to nothing for those townships to vote on,” La Strada said.
He added, “Cedar Township, Sedalia East and Sedalia West are shut down due to lack of anything to vote on.
“With Flat Creek, they only thing they can vote on is for the Green Ridge School Board.
“There are only seven voters in that township. They can vote either by absentee, or they can request that a ballot be sent to them.”
La Strada was asked how the Flat Creek Township voters were notified of the changes.
“We already sent them a letter seven weeks before the election. They can also vote at the Green Ridge Community Building at 114 N. Main Street in Green Ridge,” La Strada said.
With polling places being moved from the schools to new locations for security reasons, information will be available at those sites letting voters know where to go.
“For those polling locations that were shut down at the schools, there will be signs directing them where to go now.
“For those townships that are closed, there will be signs informing them that they have nothing to vote on,” La Strada explained.
La Strada mentioned that the turnout for this election will be lighter than in the past.
“It will be very light. I’m predicting between a six to eight percent turnout.
“Just going off the last municipal election, there was an 11 percent turnout, and that was for a large municipal election,” he said.
He added, “What will bring the voters out is the Library situation with the city. Ward Four will be a larger turnout due to the heavily contested council race and the Library issue.”
La Strada went on to explain dates and deadlines for absentee voting in Pettis County.
“Military absentee ballots will be mailed out February 15. We will mail out our permanent and temporary absentee ballots out on February 19.
“February 19 will be the first day of absentee voting. April 1 is the last day to vote absentee,” La Strada explained.
La Strada also mentioned that the last day to register to vote in the upcoming election will be on March 16.
He went on to say that the last day to request an absentee ballot to be sent to voters is on March 27.
La Strada was asked if he will have less poll workers than normal due to the lighter expected turnout.
“We will have around 60-65 poll workers. It will be cut back. Normally we have 100 poll workers,” he said.
With a lighter than normal turnout expected, La Strada was asked if he thinks the results will be tabulated faster.
“We are predicting that it will be very fast. We are hoping that everything goes smooth. We predict that the results will come in faster due to the size of the election and the townships that are shut down,” La Strada said.