Voters in Missouri head to polls Tuesday

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Is it much ado about nothing? Voters head to the polls tomorrow for Missouri's Presidential Primary, all for what some call an expensive dog and pony show.

Republicans can pick a nominee, but this vote doesn't count.

The secretary of state's office estimates all the work that goes into Tuesday's primary could hit $7 million. Both Democrats and Republicans tell Heartland News they feel it's all pointless.

Basically it's a snafu between state and national regulations.

The national Republican party has a schedule for states to hold primaries, and unless you're one of a few states - your state's primary can't take place before March 6.

Missouri didn't want to face national penalties, so the party decided to hold a caucus March 17.

However, Missouri State law says our primary has to be Feb. 7.

In the fall, the senate did try to change the law, but got stuck at a 16-16 vote on the issue.

"So here we are," said Southeast Missouri State University Political Science Instructor Trent Howell. "My students laughed in class and said so this is a beauty contest."

Howell, who says he voted in every local, state, and national election he was able to since age 18 says he won't be voting in Tuesday's primary.

"I have other things to do. There's no point," said Howell. "The fact of the matter is people have said this is a waste but since the legislature couldn't not keep it from going to a primary we are having a beauty contest and it decides nothing. Gingrich didn't even put his name on the ballot."

That's right, Newt Gingrich decided not to even pay the fees to put his name on the primary ballot.

"I think he probably thought it was a waste of money," said Howell. "Nothing matters until the caucus on the 17th."

At that caucus, votes will could.

Of course, if your community has a local issue on the ballot Tuesday, those votes do count.

Four precincts in Cape Girardeau County have the Fruitland Annexation issue on the ballot. Those precincts are in Jackson City only.

According to Cape Girardeau County Clerk Kara Clark-Summers, turnout is expected to be high in those areas.

Meanwhile, in Cape County the precincts have been consolidated down to 29 from 34.

"It was all about saving the tax payers money," said Clark-Summers. "We needed new machines because the old ones were almost obsolete. So, in order to afford them we consolidated. It saved $40,000 this year along, and will save the county more for years to come.

She says she got the blessing from all political parties and other groups before consolidating the areas.

"It was just to save the county money," said Clark-Summers. "We also wanted to do this in such a way that it would not be hard on voters."

Check Tuesday evening for primary results.

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