Polling places prepared for tornado chances

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Polling places are ready to keep voters safe when a severe storm with high winds, chances of hail and isolated tornadoes will pass over the Heartland Tuesday evening.

Cape Girardeau County Clerk Kara Clark Summers has been discussing weather contingency plans with the local emergency management agency and election judges who will be stationed at the 23 open voting locations.

"We may get some weather of course but we just hope we don't have that big impact," Clark Summers said. "If something happens at a polling location we will be prepared to action at that point in time."

The emergency manager for Cape County, Richard Knaup, and his team will be closely monitoring tomorrow's storm and if a tornado warning goes into effect says the polling places are well versed on what to do.

"The election judges know how to handle the situation," Knaup said. "They know where their safe place is in that building, and if you're there voting they will take care of you. They can handle just about anything that happens at a polling place."

Knaup says no voter should be discouraged by the inclement weather, but can instead plan around it by going earlier in the day before it arrives.

"I'd say just gauge it before you go out, but in the morning and lunch would be the best time to vote tomorrow," Knaup said.

Clark Summers says municipal elections in April typically have lower voter turnout, and thinks tomorrow's bad weather could cause some tight races.

"These elections are the ones that have the most impact on us locally," Clark Summer said. "I do encourage people to study those questions and those candidates and get out to exercise their right to vote because it does make a difference. Every vote does counts even in some of these smaller elections where the vote might be closer."

The county clerk also wants to remind local voters to bring a valid from of photo ID such as a driver's license, passport, a military ID, or a secondary form of ID.

"This is our first election with the new ID law in Missouri so that way they can get in and out quickly and be on their way," Clark Summers said. "If you can't make it to your polling location for whatever reason, anyone can come to the Cape County Administration building in Jackson and vote here on election day as a central polling location. We also have curbside voting available at all of our polling locations."

The polls will be open bright and early at 6am and will stay open until 7pm on Tuesday April 3rd.

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