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Columbia Missourian

Preparing for the Missouri primaries

By JENN HERSEIM and Anne Hauser
January 27, 2008 | 8:03 p.m. CST

Ask Wendy Hofmann, a registered voter in Boone County, if she is going to vote in the primary, and she answers in one word: “Obama.”

“I pay a lot of attention to current events,” she said. “I always vote for everything. It’s our job as citizens.”

Voting dates and deadlines

To apply for an absentee ballot by mail: 5 p.m. Wednesday. To apply for an absentee ballot in person at the City Clerk’s office: 5 p.m. Feb. 4. Polling hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 5

Next week, Missouri joins 23 other states in the Super Tuesday presidential primaries.

California, New York and Illinois are among the 24 states with Feb. 5 primaries, and up to half of party delegates will be awarded that day — 52 percent of Democratic delegates and 41 percent of Republican delegates.

Under Missouri law, the primary is open. Voters do not need to register with a political party before they cast their ballots. They select a party the day of the primary and vote for one of that party’s candidates.

“You have to choose one party when you go to vote,” said Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren. “Most people think you can go in and vote for all three parties.”

Voter registration in Boone County ended Jan. 9, but registered voters who will be out of the county or have a disability that makes it difficult to get to a polling station may still apply for an absentee ballot.

Noren said voters who need an absentee ballot should sign up for one quickly because the deadline typically does not leave enough time for voters to receive the ballot, get it notarized and send it back.

Voters can also apply for an absentee ballot in person at the Roger B. Wilson County Government Center in the city clerk’s office. The office is at 801 E. Walnut St. in Room 236.

Voters can find out where their polling location is by looking up their name on the county clerk’s Web site at, by calling the office or by going to the office in person.

Voters should have already received their sample ballots, Noren said.

If they do not receive a sample ballot and a polling location, they should check their voter registration cards to see if an address has changed. Hofmann said she already received her polling information in the mail from the county clerk’s office.

Contact the Boone County Clerk’s office if your address has changed since the last time you voted.

There are 85 polling locations in Boone County listed on

Noren said voter turnout is hard to predict early, but a high turnout could occur if voters think the election will be a close call.