KAYLA DRAKE | Multimedia Producer
St. Charles County has a record amount of absentee voters for the upcoming Missouri general election on Nov. 6, according to Elections Director Rich Chrismer.
Chrismer said the enthusiasm for this year’s election started well before absentee voting opened. During voter registration, he said he had his staff working 12 hour days to meet the deadline because of so many applications.
On a normal off-year election the St. Charles County Election Authorities receive 2,000 absentee voters, but this year with time still left until Nov. 6, almost 7,000 people have already voted.
St. Charles is experiencing a revival in voter interest. A retired federal employee, Mary Boyd said she has never been to so many town halls or meetings than during this year. Boyd said the trend shows her people are invested in local government now.
“You can’t remain neutral; you have to take a stand,” she said. “You have to vote to express your own concerns and opinions, and you do that by voting; that’s the only way I know to deal with this.”
Chrismer said he speculates the recent Supreme Court confirmation process for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the “contentious” Senate race between incumbent Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley attracted voters.
Boyd said the 2016 election of President Trump motivated her to be more involved with local government.
“I’m not happy with the way things are,” she said. “I’m not happy with this president, and this is my way of dealing with that.”
Chrismer said this is also the largest ballot he has seen in his 16 years as the elections director. He said he recommends people look the issues up online before coming because a fresh pair of eyes can take about 35 minutes to vote.
“I can’t imagine what Election Day will be like, because phones do ring off the hook on Election Day, but they’ve been ringing off the hook for weeks now,” Chrismer said.
Chrismer also clarified confusion in reporting about the photo ID law. He said a form of identification is still required and was not struck down by the court. A valid form of ID includes a state ID, passport or utility bill.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A prior version of this article referred to the Supreme Court confirmation process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a “trial.” Kavanaugh was also referred to as “Justice Judge Kavanaugh.” This language was incorrect. A sitting judge is referred to as “Judge” and a member of the Supreme Court is referred to as “Justice.” We apologize for the error.