Expanded Voting Comes To Benton County With Caveat

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
During the August 4 Primary Election, registered voters will have the opportunity to select local and state candidates to run as their party’s candidate in the General Election that takes place on November 3, 2020. Missouri utilizes an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party’s primary. Also, Missouri no longer allows the “straight party” ticket option.
Ballotpedia.org reports that to vote in Missouri, one must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen and a Missouri resident. One may print a registration application, pick one up from the County Clerk’s office, or request that an application be mailed. Residents can use online voter registration to register to vote by visiting https://s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterregistration. In order to vote in the August 4 Primary Election, one must register to vote by July 8; and for the General Election, registration must be completed by October 7.
The traditional way to vote is to show up at the polls on Election Day. However, Governor Mike Parson signed SB631 into law, permitting any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in any 2020 election, subject to a potential notarization requirement.
For those voting at their local polling place, they must show forms of acceptable identification with or without a photo, and then sign the poll book to obtain a ballot. Acceptable IDs include those issued by the State of Missouri, an agency of the state, or a local election authority of the state. Also accepted are IDs issued by the U.S. government, an institution of higher education within the state, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter. If you do not possess any of these forms of ID, but are a registered voter, you may cast a provisional ballot in accordance with directions at ballotpedia.org.
Accessible voting is available for those with limited mobility, or physical disabilities, and the local election authority can help. For further information, contact the County Clerk’s office at 660-438-7326.
Registered Benton County voters who expect to be prevented from going to their polling place on an election day may vote absentee beginning six weeks before to an election. 
“A new absentee form is now available that states those who qualify for absentee voting,” said Susan Porterfield, Benton County Clerk. “If a voter cannot meet one of those qualifications, then there may be a notary requirement.”
More information about notary requirements can be found at www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/howtovote. 
The deadline to apply for Absentee ballots is July 22 for the Primary Election, and October 21 for the General Election on November 3. These ballots must arrive at the Benton County Clerk’s office by 7 PM on Election Day.
On August 4, Democratic candidates seeking the seat of Governor of Missouri are Nicole Galloway, Antoin Johnson, Jimmie Matthews, Eric Morrison and Robin Van Quaethem. Republican candidates are Incumbent Gov. Mike Parson, Saundra McDowell, James Neely, and Raleigh Ritter. Running in the Green Primary for Governor is Jerome H. Bauer, and in the Libertarian Primary is Rik Combs.
Running for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri from the Democratic Primary are Alissia Canady and Gregory Upchurch. Republicans running are Incumbent Mike Kehoe, Mike Carter, Arnie Dienoff and Aaron Wisdom. Kelley Dragoo is running in the Green Primary for that office and Bill Slantz is running for the Libertarian party.
Running for Attorney General of Missouri are Democrats Richard Finneran and Elad Gross, and Republican Incumbent Eric Schmitt. Libertarian candidate is Kevin Babcock.
Candidates for Missouri Secretary of State are Yinka Faleti, Democrat; Incumbent Jay Ashcroft, Republican;  Paul Venable with the Constitution Primary; and Carl Herman Freese, Libertarian. 
Running for State Treasurer is Vicki Englund, Democrat; Incumbent Scott Fitzpatrick, Republican; Joseph Civettini with the Green primary; and Nick Kasoff with the Libertarian Primary.
Locally, there are 11 candidates for various offices. Republican Scott Harms is the only candidate for Benton County Commissioner – Northern District. Running for the Southern District are Republicans Larry G. Berry, Rodney T. Johnson, and David Malecki; and Democrat  John Spry.
Incumbent Jim Hansen, Republican, is running for the office of County Assessor//Property Appraiser. 
Incumbent Eric Knox and Glenn Spencer, both Republicans, are candidates for the Benton County Sheriff.
Incumbent Jesse W. Wininger, Republican, is running for County Surveyor. Incumbent J. Weston Miller, Republican, is the candidate for County Coroner/Medical Examiner. And, Incumbent Lori Johnson Dunkin, Republican, is running to maintain her position as County Probate Administrator//Register of Probate//Public Administrator.