Missouri official predicts turnout will be 76 precent

Kansas City StarOctober 28, 2008 

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan on Monday forecast a whopping 76 percent Election Day turnout, and warned some voters will find long lines at polling places.

That may be especially the case in Kansas City, where 20 percent of past polling places have been shut down because of federal rules requiring disabled access.

The all-time state mark was 77 percent turnout in 1992 when Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush. But a 76 percent turnout would translate to 3.2 million of the 4.2 million voters casting ballots next Tuesday.

In a state that lacks advance voting, Carnahan acknowledged the voting system will be challenged. But, she said, election authorities are working “day and night” to gear up.

“This year, we have increased security checks on voting machines, raised the number of poll workers statewide and invested in more training for Election Day workers,” she said during a Kansas City stop.

The state has added 340,000 new registered voters since the 2004 presidential election. Since the first of the year, Kansas City south of the river has added 36,064 voters, election officials said, 66 percent of whom are between 18 and 34.

At a news conference, Carnahan said voters owe it to themselves and the entire system to come prepared. Some voters will be rendering judgment on as many as 40 races and ballot issues, she said. (It’s 22 in Kansas City.)

Election officials are hoping for voters to take about four minutes each to do their duty, but acknowledge it could take longer.

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