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Jefferson County extends hours, launches satellite polling locations for expected record turnout

Election organizers expect record turnout because they're already setting records with mail-in ballot requests

HILLSBORO, Mo. — When Shelly Robinson walks away from the voting booth in Jefferson County, she's one of roughly 500 people to cast her ballot Wednesday.

"Make sure that your vote counts. Don't wait," she said.

Election organizers expect record turnout because they're already setting records with mail-in ballot requests.

"We broke records of course like everybody else," County clerk and Election Authority Ken Waller said. "17,971 ballots were sent out as of today, not counting today's deadline. We got a lot in today, probably a few hundred."

Waller said they received about 12,000 ballot requests in the 2016 Presidential election. Already this year, about 80% of people have returned their ballots.

Getting right in under the wire -- less than ten minutes before closing -- Scott Buchanan visited the Hillsboro office to drop off an application for his 83-year-old mother.

"I'm just glad I made it so that she can vote and not have to go up there to the polls," Buchanan said.

See the document below for more information on satellite voting locations and extended hours:

As the staff deals with record requests, they're doing it with one less set of hands, without their long-time coworker.

A desk in the middle of the office is filled with flowers for Sherri Detter, an election clerk for 13 years who died with her parents and niece in a house fire earlier this month. It's a noticeable loss in the best of times, but even more so during this period of unprecedented turnout.

"With that being said, we need as many people here as we can, " Waller said. "We have hired some seasonal workers and some other people. We probably hire 12 to 15 seasonal people just to get us through the November election."

To encourage people to vote before election day, Waller says they're doing something they've never done before: opening two satellite offices next week.

They will also be open for extended hours at the main office beginning Thursday, Oct. 22. Waller expects they will process as many as 800 votes daily with the extended hours.

"It's daunting, but that's what we do," he said.

For more information, click the absentee voting satellite location link on the bottom of the County Clerk/Election Authority website.

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