The Boone County Clerk’s Office is mailing sample ballots and notices of polling places to voters this week in advance of the June 2 municipal election.
Those mailings will include applications for absentee ballots for those who want to avoid exposure to COVID-19.
“Voters are encouraged to consider applying for an absentee ballot if they are following CDC and/or local public health department directives to stay-at-home, quarantine, or stay in confinement to avoid exposure to COVID-19 illness,” Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said in a Monday news release.
In addition to the mailed applications, citizens can apply online for an absentee ballot at vote.boonemo.org. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. May 20. Absentee ballots must be received by the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on election day.
Lennon also said in the release that voters should pay close attention to the notice of polling place that will be included in the mailings. Many polling places will change as a result of the pandemic.
Buildings, such as nursing homes, that primarily serve populations more at risk for serious illness will not be used as polling places.
“Our office will be offering voting options to residents of those locations, and we plan to offer satellite locations for in-person absentee voting in advance of the election,” Lennon said.
The clerk’s office has been working with the Columbia Public and Southern Boone County school districts to allow people to vote at several school buildings.
A full list of polling places is available on the clerk’s website.
Lennon said polling places will be equipped with hand sanitizer and that election judges will wear protective equipment, including masks and face shields.
Social distancing measures will also be in effect on election day.
The clerk is recruiting election judges now. People registered to vote in Boone County and are interested in being a judge can sign up and learn more on the website.
Those with questions can call the clerk’s office at 573-886-4375 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The municipal election, which was originally scheduled for April 7 but postponed because of the COVID-19 emergency, features elections for city council members, aldermen and trustees as well as school board members.
In Columbia, Pat Fowler, Greg Pierson and Mark Anderson are competing for the First Ward City Council seat being vacated by incumbent Clyde Ruffin, while Fifth Ward Council member Matt Pitzer is unopposed in his bid for a second three-year term.
Four people are competing for three seats on the Columbia School Board. Incumbents Jonathan Sessions and Helen Wade are seeking new three-year terms, while newcomers Chris Horn and David Seamon also are running.
Incumbent Boone Hospital Center trustees Jerry Kennett and Bob McDavid are running unopposed for two seats on that board. Kennett is seeking a five-year term, while McDavid, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Brian Neuner last year, is running to complete the four years remaining on that term.