ST. LOUIS – Missouri polls will close for the August primary election at 7 p.m. While thousands made their way to polls Tuesday, the number of voters filling out those ballots seems a little lighter than officials expected.
Candidates have certainly been enthusiastic leading up to the primary election, but election officials say there appears to be a lack of enthusiasm among registered voters in the St. Louis region. Officials in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County all expect a voter turnout of less than 35 percent.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says, of nearly four million registered voters in the state, he expects less than 1.2 million will cast their vote during the primary election, or roughly 30 percent of registered voters.
Election officials around St. Louis tell FOX2 that things are going smoothly at polling places, but many voters have arrived at the polls with questions about redistricting.
Gary Soff, Republican director of St. Louis City elections, said, ‘Ward numbers changed, your precinct number has changed, [but] your polling place may or may not have changed. In case you are a creature of habit and not bother to look at that you may go to that had been your polling place and its changed. we’d hate to see you make that trip and then [later] go to your correct polling place.”
Eric Fey, the Democratic director of St. Louis County elections said, “We’ve definitely had questions from some voters today that weren’t aware of the redistricting. They were going into the polling place expecting to vote for candidates from one district and it turns out they’re in this other district. We’ve answered a few questions like that so far today, but overall we haven’t had as many questions as we thought we would.”
Turnout has been light, but steady at polls. Officials have not informed FOX2 of any long lines throughout the St. Louis area.