Buchanan County prepares for June election

In St. Joseph, voters will have a number of measures on the June ballot including electing two individuals to serve on the school board, a bond to fix city bridges, and how city council members are elected.

Posted: May 22, 2020 11:04 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Two weeks from now, we head to the polls in St. Joseph. Voters will be electing two new school board members and decide on making changes to local government.

The election was moved back from April to June because of COVID-19 concerns.

"Yes, the election is going on. Yes, the polling places will be open, and yes, they will be safe for the voters to enter,” Buchanan County Clerk Mary Baack-Garvey said.

In 2020, you may have a lot of voting questions.

"Come august and November there's going to be a slight change with absentees but that isn't going on right now so we are just focused on the June,” Baack-Garvey said.

Presidential election years are a marathon of elections for clerks across the country.

"It's not just going in there setting up a table and getting the ballots out," Baack-Garvey said.

But COVID-19 has made it a triathlon.

"Now we have all of this array of stuff to use for precautionary measures and to keep our voters safe,” Baack-Garvey said.

State officials pushed the municipal elections back in response to COVID-19, changing the original election day from April 7 to June 2.

"All that we are worried about right now is that people are keeping their social distancing, we have hand sanitizer everywhere, disinfectant sprays, masks, rubber gloves, you name it, we're prepared,” Baack-Garvey said.

Are voters required to wear masks, no.

"It's like if you are going to Walmart, if you choose to wear a mask, wear a mask,” Baack-Garvey said.

Buchanan County is closing in on 600 positive cases of COVID-19, with at least 15 people hospitalized and two deaths.

The county clerk says she knows that COVID-19 is on the front of peoples' minds but that polling places have you covered.

"Use your common sense, give people space, take your time and we’re going to have everything there at the polling places to make you feel safe," Baack-Garvey said.

The only thing now to worry about is who and what to vote for.

In St. Joseph, voters will have a number of measures on the June ballot including electing two individuals to serve on the school board, a bond to fix city bridges, and how city council members are elected.

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Temperatures and humidity will continue to climb on Wednesday making it feel like a very humid day across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Temperatures will warm into the mid to upper 80s and increasing moisture and instability. This will likely mean shower and thunderstorm chances for the remainder of Thursday and Thursday night.
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