(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It's the Primary Elections for Missouri and voters have been hitting the polls since 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Some sizable items on the ballot including seats for Congress, House of Representatives, the republican and democratic nominee for Missouri Governor and Buchanan County residents select their sheriff.
Voters are expected to do all of this while remaining six feet apart.
“Everybody’s wearing a mask, there’s hand sanitizer at the door,” said Melissa Hile, Buchanan County voter.
Voting during a pandemic appears to be different, but some voters said it doesn't feel like anything out of the ordinary.
“It wasn’t very different. There’s hand sanitizer at the door which I had some. There was a bucket of clean pens to pick up. Other than that, it wasn’t that different,” said Hile.
While voters report not seeing a change in their voting experience from past elections, polling volunteers have tasks they've never had before.
“The difference is that we have hand sanitizer for them, gloves, masks. If they don’t have their own, we provide them with a mask if they want one. The pens are used by one person and one person only before we sanitize them,” said John Carrel, Democratic Supervisor.
The new safety procedures were made to ensure voters feel safe casting their vote in-person and as of Tuesday afternoon, voters leaving their polling location said they felt safe.
“I sure did. No problem once so ever,” said Jeff, a Buchanan County voter.
As for voter turnout, precincts throughout Buchanan County were reporting seeing different numbers. The polling supervisor at the Visiting Bureau location said they had a slow morning. “Turnouts been kinda slow. They predicted 20-25% as of right now we have 85 and we’ve been here since 6 a.m,” said Jeffrey Ginn Singer, Supervising Judge.
While polling supervisors at the St. Peter Lutheran Church had the opposite experience.
“We’ve been pretty steady. We’ve had at least one or two people in here all day long since we opened at 6 a.m. this morning. We had people waiting at the door for us when we opened,” said John Carrel, Democratic Supervisor.
Buchanan County Clerk, Mary Baack-Garvey predicts a 25% voter turnout. While COVID-19 fears may keep people from voting this year, volunteers working the polls encourage everyone to make their voice heard.
“I feel like if you don’t vote, you can’t really complain. These are the leaders of our community and we should get out and vote whether you like that person or not. It’s just a good thing to do,” said Ginn Singer.
To see election results, visit our website.