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The secret to quicker voting in St. Louis County

Hour-long lines are already the norm at some absentee polling places.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — One hour just to cast a ballot. That's how long it's taking some people in St. Louis County to vote one week before election day.

Huge crowds are showing up in St. Louis County. But a Ballwin couple showed 5 On Your Side their secret to keeping things moving.

The line outside the absentee polling office in Chesterfield was a surprise for Laverne and Dan Kleffner.

“I didn't think there would be that many people here,” said Laverne.

But the crowd didn't scare them away.

“It’s too important,” Dan said.

This week, county elections officials opened satellite offices in Chesterfield, Clayton and South County for absentee voters. With so many precincts and the longest ballot in county history, they're dividing voters into groups.

With the ballot being so long, there's been some question as to whether voters have to fill out the whole thing for their vote to count. The answer is no. Election officials say you can fill out your ballot however you want.

It takes an average of around 8-and-a-half minutes for voters to use the machines and longer to fill out paper ballots. But the Kleffners have a trick up their sleeve using sample ballots to speed things up for everyone.

“I filled it all out and read all the things that we have to vote on so that I don't have to do it when I get to the polling station,” said Laverne.

Election officials say that’s excellent advice.

To keep up with big crowds, poll workers added four extra machines Tuesday to the Chesterfield location. And all in all, the Kleffners say things went smoothly.

St. Louis County is still looking for Republican poll workers for next week's election. There needs to be an equal number of Republican and Democratic workers at each polling place.

If you want to volunteer call 314-615-1840 or click here for more information.

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