By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
ST. LOUIS — Voter participation in Jasper County for Tuesday’s primary election increased nearly 9 percent when compared with 2010.
That’s significant because of previous concerns about losing voters after a tornado decimated the Joplin area in May 2011.
Jasper County Clerk Bonnie Earl, the county’s chief election official, told Missouri Watchdog that 18,246 people voted Tuesday, compared to 16,777 in the August 2010 primary.
Carnahan told Kinder she already had. Earl told Watchdog the concerns were overblown, and that Kinder just “wanted more publicity.”
Earl said she encouraged voters who had moved to change their addresses before the primary, but “they’ve had many things going on in their lives and that wasn’t a priority.”
Anyone on the voter rolls who showed up to vote with a suitable form of identification, such as a driver’s license or water bill, were then allowed to change their address and cast a ballot, she said.
At one poll she visited, Earl said, she saw examples of people who had done just that. Earl couldn’t give Watchdog an exact count of voters who changed their addresses at the polls, but said she was unaware of anyone being turned away in the county’s 49 precincts.
“If they were registered to vote they were allowed to vote,” she said.
Secretary of State spokesman Rich Lamb told Watchdog Carnahan’s office received two calls from Jasper County residents
concerning the primary. The callers were trying to find sample ballots.
“It was quiet,” Lamb said. “It seemed to go really well.”
Kinder’s communications director, Jay Eastlick, said he wasn’t sure whether the lieutenant governor had followed up on his concerns about Joplin after the election.
Email Kampis at firstname.lastname@example.org