Ballot Ballocks

Looking at the misconceptions around voting in the Primary


Braxton Myers

Voters are greeted with patriotic symbols everywhere they turn. As patriotism is celebrated, what isn’t is advertisement for a certain candidate. Law dictates that no propaganda could displayed within 25 ft of a polling place. If you do, you could be asked to leave or to get rid of it.

On March 10th, the state of Missouri was one out of six states to vote in the primary to choose the nominee for both the Democratic and Republican parties. Out of the raw data, what was seen was that only 18.5% of the total eligible voters participated in the primary election. This may be disappointing to some, but to others, it’s understandable because of the Republican majority who see the nomination within-firm grasp for the current incumbent and thus don’t see any point in participation.

Looking at the numbers from the Laclede District, the total number of voters who came out as Republican was around 67%. Other than that, the party consensus around the Republican race was very apparent. Around 98% percent of the Party vote went to Donald J. Trump in Laclede. Though, one of the most surprising things that was found is that 37% of the vote went to the Democratic party.

Braxton Myers
Despite the look, these aren’t very complicated machines. In fact, it’s now more accessible than ever.

Recent actions by the county suggest that the way we vote will be fundamentally different in the future. This Primary marks the first major election that there has been a push toward weaving technology into voting efforts. All-new “Express Voting” is here with hopes of shorter wait times to vote and interest in keeping costs lower. Though some voters are wary of the technology in the aspect of ‘not trusting computers’ or fears that it would be a more tedious process. These voters had the option of a paper ballot in which 1 has to be printed for every single eligible voter, whether they show up or not.

These are one of the most prevalent misunderstandings around the machines, as Brenda Weniers, a precinct captain, explains, “Its because people think that the machine is counting their vote or that it’s connected to the internet, but that’s an illusion. All the device really is doing is marking the ballot for them to get back and then put it in a separate bin to be counted later on. The machine isn’t counting their vote.”

Braxton Myers
Here at Community Baptist, election workers and officials were excited to help voters through the process.

Misunderstandings can run rampant throughout elections because of the word of mouth or assumptions. One of the biggest of these was what was actually on the ballot itself, as voters thought they were choosing state and local motions and officials. However, this was just the primary election, meaning that the lower-level government elections are at another time.

The next election cycle for Municipal voting is going to be April 7, 2020, which dictates which city officials get to be elected and local issues affecting the community. Such things like mayoral, councilmen, and school board elections will be at stake as well as topics akin to raising a local use tax on products will be on the ballot.