KSMU Election 2020

JQH Arena
Scott Harvey / KSMU

In this episode of Engaging the Community, Missouri State University President Clif Smart explains the decision to open up the JQH Arena as a polling place for all Greene County voters on November 3.

That means voters will have the option of either casting their ballots at their regular polling place or at the JQH Arena.

Smart said while MSU, as a public institution of higher education, doesn't endorse individual candidates, he thinks "this presidential race, in particular, is the most important race in my lifetime."

Michele Skalicky

The deadline for requesting an absentee or mail-in ballot in Missouri is less than a week away.

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller reminds you that October 21 is the last day to request a ballot for the November 3 election.

But, at a press conference Wednesday at the main post office in Springfield, he urged anyone who wants an absentee or mail-in ballot to put in their requests before that.

Ozarks Public Broadcasting/Community Foundation Of The Ozarks

From Ozarks Public Radio at KSMU.org, this is Making a Difference; Connecting Through Conversation, an ongoing series produced in cooperation with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

The 2020-2021 season of Making a Difference Connecting Through Conversation, features a series of conversations between persons in respectful relationships, but with opposing views. Today, we hear from a father and son from Springfield Missouri, with different opinions on third party voters.

 

Correction: an earlier version of this story failed to list candidate Vicke Kepling in the Missouri House District 135 race.  Kepling, a Green Party candidate, will participate in Thursday's virtual forum. We regret the error, and the story has been edited to reflect the correction.

A partnership of ten organizations from the Springfield area is hosting political forums on candidates and issues ahead of the November 3 election. The public is invited to view those virtually, starting this week.

 

Michele Skalicky

As the election nears and many people are thinking about whether to vote in person or by mail, KSMU interviewed Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller.

The Missouri Legislature passed a law in the spring that allows anyone in the state to vote using a mail-in ballot, but they must have that ballot notarized. 

Josh Conaway / KSMU News

On Tuesday, election officials gathered in front of the Greene County Election Center to encourage Missouri citizens to vote ahead of the general election and to make sure they know their options.

The conference took place next to a brown and gold-striped UPS truck, full of mail-in ballots for Greene County voters. The mail-in ballots started going out to voters September 22.

Michele Skalicky

KSMU talked to voters who had just cast ballots Tuesday at polling sites in Springfield.  We asked why they went to the polls despite the pandemic.

Voter Jack McGee:  "I've just been wanting to, I guess, just get more involved in voting for local and state politics more than just on Election Day every four years."

McGee said yes to expanding Medicaid in Missouri.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Springfield voters have agreed to impose a 5,000 dollar annual fee on short-term lending businesses, commonly referred to as payday lenders. 

Critics of "payday," or "title" loans say they prey on the poor and reinforce the cycle of poverty. A task force recommended the annual fee to Springfield City Council earlier.

The issue was posed to Springfield voters as "Question 1" on Tuesday, and nearly 57 percent said "yes" to imposing the fee on payday lenders.

After discussing the idea for years, Missouri voters narrowly agreed Tuesday to expand Medicaid — giving roughly 250,000 additional people access to health care.

“This is a big deal,” said Tim McBride, former chair of the oversight committee for Missouri’s Medicaid program and an expansion supporter. “It’s about time. It’s important for the people in the gap population, and it’s a tough time now for the recession and COVID-19.”

The constitutional amendment passed 53% to 47%.

Vox Efx; Flickr

 To see all Missouri results:

To view the results of all races in the state of Missouri as they come in, click on this website hosted by the Missouri Secretary of State's office.

Then in the drop-down  menu, select State of Missouri - Primary Election August 4, 2020.

Scroll down to find the statewide offices, state House and Senate races, and other items that appeared on the ballot.  There, you can also tally turnout of voters by party.

Michele Skalicky

Voters are heading to the polls today for the August Primary Election.  Polls opened at 6 this morning, and they’ll remain open until 7 tonight.

With one week to go before Missouri’s primary election, faith and civic leaders gathered Tuesday in Springfield to urge voters to say “yes” to two ballot issues.  One would expand Medicaid in Missouri, and the other would impose a $5000 annual fee on new short-term loan businesses in the city of Springfield.

Leaders from Baptist, Methodist and non-denominational church groups said their faith compels them to act justly.  They said the working poor currently don’t have a way to pay for health care and that what they call “predatory lending” traps people in a cycle of debt.

Michele Skalicky

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller reminds voters that they may continue to cast an absentee ballot, in-person, through August 3rd for the August 4th Primary Election.

Voters are eligible to cast an absentee ballot if they are unable to go to their regular polling place on August 4th for reasons allowed by law. 

In-person absentee voters may cast their ballot in the clerk’s office at the Greene County Archives-Elections Center, 1126 N Boonville Ave, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, through August 3, and on Saturday, August 1st from 9am to 1pm.

justgrimes / Flickr

The issue of Medicaid Expansion will appear on the statewide Missouri ballot as Amendment 2 in the August 4, 2020 primary election.  Below you can listen to a virtual forum on the ballot issue that was recorded July 21, 2020.

About the Medicaid Expansion forum:

Megan Burke, / KSMU

 

Election judges are important part of a local polling station; they make sure voting goes off without a hitch.  In Greene County, more election judges are needed this year than ever, as Missouri holds in-person primary voting on August 4 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Greene County Clerk’s Office needs about 100 more judges to help check in voters, hand out ballots, clean polling stations, and make sure everyone keeps distance from one another. 50 must be registered Democrats, and 50 must be Republicans, to keep hiring bipartisan.