In previous elections, Missouri counties posted absentee ballot results first. For Tuesday’s general election, that practice will vary from county to county. Columbia College Political Science Professor Terry Smith tells Missourinet the change presents a new challenge.
“It’s always quite informative – or has been – because absentee ballots get posted first. You can see trends in that ordinarily. The usual things that you rely on, we may not have those benchmarks like we usually do,” says Smith.
Missouri’s local election authorities have received more than 723,000 mail-in and absentee ballots so far for the general election – compared to 282,000 counted in 2016.
In central Missouri’s Boone County, where Smith resides, absentee ballots will be posted throughout the night.
“The old reliable markers aren’t going to be available for people like me who want to try to read the tea leaves a little bit early in the night,” says Smith.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft expects about 70% of Missouri’s voters to cast a ballot in the general election.
Polling locations are open statewide from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you can still vote.
“We will not release any votes until all of our polling locations are closed,” says Ashcroft. “We want everyone to know that if you voted at 6 o’ clock in the morning or if you voted exactly at 7 o’ clock – or anywhere in between – your vote counts equally.”
Voters can still cast an absentee ballot in-person at their local election authority until 5 p.m. today.
Missourinet’s live election night coverage begins at 8:05 p.m. on many of our affiliates and on Missourinet.com. We will also have updates on our Facebook page.