Number of polling locations reduced for Tuesday's election

Monday, April 4, 2011 | 8:00 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — While many voters will have the same polling site on Tuesday as they did in the last municipal election, about 35,000 people cannot vote at the sites they went to in November.

Because the election is smaller and turnout is expected to be less than half of what it was in November, the county has reduced the number of polling locations from 85 to 52, Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said.

Municipal election opens

On Tuesday, voters will decide on two municipal issues, two new city council representatives and three school board members.

New council representatives will be elected in the First and Fifth wards to fill vacancies created by the departure of incumbents.

In the Fifth Ward there are two candidates, Helen Anthony and Glen Ehrhardt. Four candidates are on the ballot in the First Ward: Pam Forbes, Darrell Foster, Fred Schmidt and Mitch Richards.

Voters citywide will decide on two municipal issues. Proposition 1 would provide annual stipends of $6,000 for ward representatives on the Columbia City Council and $9,000 for the mayor. Proposition 2 would let the city issue $49.5 million in bonds to finance the purchase of an energy center near the city landfill that uses natural gas to generate electricity. The bond issue would not affect electric rates for city customers.

Voters in the Columbia school district will choose three new members of the Board of Education from a slate of six candidates: Sara Dickson, Liz Peterson, Dave Raithel, Tom Rose, Jonathan Sessions and Helen Wade.

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Fewer sites will cut costs for the county and changes in polling sites are normal for smaller elections, she added.

"Every election is different and has a different dynamic," Noren said.

The Boone County Clerk's Office sent registered Boone County voters a sample ballot a couple of weeks ago with information about where they should vote on Tuesday. Those who did not have a current address on file at the office may not have received a sample ballot with a correct polling site location.

Those who did not receive a sample ballot or who would like to check their polling locations should go to the Boone County Clerk's Office website or call 886-4375 to confirm polling location and address information.

The polls open Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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