Hot races and major issues are considered factors that could drive Missourians to polling places in record numbers next Tuesday. The secretary of state’s office forecasts 2.4 million votes will be cast. One indicator is absentee voting. Deputy secretary of state Betsy Byers has been checking around. Kansas city expects 6,000 absentees, compared to 5,000 four years ago. Jackson County election officials expect comparable numbers of absentee ballots.