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County Clerk gives election wrap-up

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- County Clerk Joe Watson reported that the Nov. 6 election results have been certified to the state and that the election "judges did a good job." Watson reported that 13,052 ballots were cast in Stoddard County, which was slightly below the 13,449 ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election. The 2008 total was the highest in the county.

Watson said there were 139 candidate names submitted as write-in candidates, which slowed the counting of ballots. The write-in candidates had to be counted by hand, instead of by machine. He noted that 599 write-in votes were cast. He went on to report that voters showed up early at the polls this year, and that election workers were "busy all day long." He said the Resolution Board headed by Republican Wayne Jean and Democrat Mike Moroni helped with the counting of the write-in ballots.

Watson said the county has two weeks to certify the election results, but there were no issues in the election to resolve before certification.

Presiding Commissioner Greg Mathis asked Watson about the pilot project using Dexter High School students.

Watson said the students "did a good job." He said they assisted election judges with numbering the poll books, putting ballots in the ballot box correctly and also filled in for election workers while they took a break for lunch.

"They were very involved," said Watson. "I would like to see it expanded it possible."

Commissioner Carol Jarrell said she had talked with a male student about his work at the polls, and he "really enjoyed it." She said the student said it was very informative.

Watson told the commission that his staff worked a 19-hour shift on election day.

"They did a good job," he stated. "I would like to thank them and the poll workers for their efforts."

Watson also thanked Sheriff Carl Hefner and his department for distributing election supplies to the various polling places on Monday before the election and also running supplies to polls as they were needed on election day.

Mathis asked Watson if anyone tried to vote who was not registered.

"We had some who tried to vote, but were not registered," responded Watson.

Watson said they were mostly landowners from Cape and Bollinger Counties who thought they could vote in the county because they owned land here. Watson said anyone voting in the county must register to vote here by the deadline. He went on to urge residents to check their addresses and registrations with the clerk's office prior to an election. A change of address can cause problems and slow down the voting process.

In other business, Glenda Bates addressed the commission saying she would be filling in as an employee at the County Archives. She said Sandra Borders was having health issues and would be unable to work. Borders is a part-time employee, working 28 hours per week. She is the only employee at the Archives. Bates formally served on the Archives Board and also worked as a volunteer at the Archives for 10 years.

Mathis asked if she would be able to help those needing assistance.

"I can help them if someone is looking for something," said Bates. She went on to say she did not intend to use Border's computer, but she was familiar enough with the Archives to assist people looking for records. The Archives include marriage licenses, probate, tax, and many other county records from past years. The Archives are used a lot for genealogy research.

Jarrell asked Bates if there was much traffic in the Archives building.

Bates said there was in the summer months, but it was slower in the winter.

Mathis said Bates would be paid as a part-time employee while she fills in for Borders.

Stoddard County Indus-trial Development Author-ity (IDA) Executive Direc-tor Julian Steiner attended the meeting. He reminded the commission that the IDA would meet Nov. 27 at

6 p.m. in the conference room at the IDA Offices in Bloomfield, followed by a meeting of the IDA Foundation at 7 p.m.

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