The months, and in some cases, years of campaigning come to an end Tuesday as Missouri voters go to the polls. The big race, at the top of the ticket, is the U.S. Senate contest. It tops a ballot that includes Congressional and legislative races, judge retention elections, and ballot initiatives. University of Central Missouri Political Science Professor Shari Bax says a couple of those ballot initiatives could be the issues that bring many Missourians to the polls – particularly the stem cell research initiative and the minimum wage proposal. She says the stem cell issue should bring out both Republicans and Democrats, while the minimum wage proposal is likely to stir up Democratic supporters. Bax says in addition to the initiatives that are important to many Missourians, some voters will be brought to the polls by the attention the Jim Talent-Claire McCaskill Senate race has received – both in the state and nationally. A non-political factor could play an important role in Election Day voting: Good weather would likely mean more voters would head to the polling stations. On a disappointing note, Bax points out the high profile Senate race, coupled with hot button ballot initiatives, make the important State Auditor’s race between Democrat Susan Montee and Republican Sandra Thomas somewhat of an afterthought in the minds of many voters.
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