Polling staff in Cape Girardeau, Co. train to keep elections impartial

Polling staff in Cape Girardeau, Co. train to keep elections impartial

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -The Midterm election is approaching on Nov. 6 and while people will be voting for their parties, getting the polls ready is a neutral effort.

In Cape Girardeau county there are democratic and republican poll workers at every precinct working together to make sure the voting process follows the law and is just.

“That shows that we want a fair and impartial election and that we want every elligable voter to vote,” said Joyce Horky, who has been an election judge in Burfordville, MO for more than 20 years.

Horky says every time a voter needs extra assistance with things like curbside voting two election judges, one republican and one democrat, step in to help and both workers sign off on any paperwork to confirm that each one saw it.

“It is just to ensure fairness That nothing is done underhanded, under the table," Horky said. “I know in all the precincts judges from opposing parties work together. We are like a family. We don’t argue. ”

Cape Girardeau County Clerk Kara Clark Summers says about 275 poll workers are training this week for the general election.

“We feel that this election is going to be very busy so we will have some extra election judges in those polling locations,” Clark Summers said.

The training covers a lot of election laws and procedures that polling staff have to follow.

For example, an election judge can tell you how to fill out a ballot, but cannot discuss the issues or candidates that are on it.

“As an election judge, by law, we can not discuss it and we can not allow the voters to discuss it either so if someone wants to discuss politics they have to take it out into the parking lot,” said Horky.

Common mistakes include not updating your voter registration or forgetting a photo ID. Even then, you can still cast a provisional ballot.

“And those are available at every polling location and no voter should be turned away without voting a provisional ballot that we go through and investigate so that voters vote will count if they are elligable to vote,” said Clark Summers.

This week a Missouri judge in Cole County struck down parts of Missouri’s voter ID law. The Secretary of State’s office have filed an appeal and asked for a stay on the current law.

If any changes to the law do happen, Clark Summers says they will do another training with poll workers.

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