Absentee ballots, direct mail keep postal workers busy

Post office says its seen a large increase in political mail with Election Day almost here.
Friday, October 29, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:39 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Postal workers will breathe a sigh of relief when this election season is over.

With only four business days left before the election, a combination of absentee ballots coming into — and going out of — Boone County, as well as a steady stream of direct campaign mail was keeping the downtown Columbia post office hopping.

“We’re very busy,” said Eddie Hudson, officer in charge at Columbia’s post office. “We’ve seen quite an increase in political mail over past years.”

Ballots coming into Boone County are delivered daily, and the post office is taking every precaution to deliver all of the ballots to the clerk’s office, Hudson said.

The post office sends out the Boone County absentee ballots in special handling bags to be easily identified by the distribution plant, Hudson said.

To be on the safe side, he said, voters sending their ballots outside Boone County should use Priority Mail today and Express Mail on Saturday. In Boone County, absentee ballots are due in the county clerk’s office by the close of the polls on Election Day. The last day to request a ballot by mail was Wednesday.

An absentee ballot can be used to vote in person at the clerk’s office, but the deadline is Monday before 5 p.m.

Jerry Dowell, campaign manager for Republican 19th District state Senate candidate Mike Ditmore, said the campaign used direct mail for fund-raising and persuasion. “Direct mail is an effective tool in targeting specific voters,” he said.

Campaign spokesmen for gubernatorial candidates Claire McCaskill and Matt Blunt said they have used direct mail but focused on radio and television advertisements in this election.

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