A four-inch stack of completed voter registration cards were piled on top of Ray County Voter Registrar Lori Naylor’s desk.
“This is just from last week,” Naylor said.
Around 200 Ray Countians swamped the county clerk’s office to meet the Oct. 8 deadline for voter registration. Previously, the clerk’s office was processing about 30 new or re-registrants a week, according to Kelly Heber of the clerk’s office.
“I have never seen so many register. It was amazing. The line to register backed into the foyer,” said County Treasurer JoAnn Burnine.
“We are anticipating a much bigger turnout,” Naylor said.
The clerk’s office is gearing up for a big Election Day. Along with training of poll workers, five voter assistant specialists will be on hand at various locations to help with voting questions, according to Naylor. People with physical disabilities can vote from their vehicle, if needed. A designated parking area on the west side of the courthouse will be available to voters with physical disabilities. Those people should bring a person with them to obtain an election judge from the first-floor of the courthouse. An election judge will bring a ballot to them.
With so many races at stake and the cloud of an ailing economy, Ray County is indicative of the national trend: More people have registered to vote, especially in swing states like Missouri.
However, new voters in the county are replacing the ones that have left. There are approximately16,100 active voters in Ray County – about the same number from two years ago, according to Naylor.
Voters can still request an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots can be used by members in the military, the ill or absent. If absent for the Nov. 4 election, ballots must be notarized. Members of the military or the ill do not need a notary.
Naylor also notes that Camden has a new voting location at the Masonic Lodge, 300 Main Street.