Deadline nearing for voter registration

bbashioum@demo-mo.comMarch 7, 2014 

Cass County voters will head to the polls early next month to vote on a number of issues and candidates who have filed for school board, city council or mayoral seats.

Election Day is Tuesday, April 8, but the deadline to register to vote in the general municipal election is Tuesday, March 12.

In Peculiar, there’s a four-person race for the mayoral seat in the running. There will also be mayoral races in Creighton, Freeman, Garden City, Lake Winnebago, Pleasant Hill and Strasburg that are uncontested.

Both Drexel and East Lynne have tax propositions on the ballot, along with the cities of Harrisonville and Peculiar, Pleasant Hill who are looking for voter approval for funds to make community improvements.

Raymore voters will be asked three questions on their April ballot in regard to city council and mayoral candidate qualifications, and if a charter amendment can be amended to outline specific procedures for petitions.

Other contested races around Cass County include:

• • West Ward alderman seat in Garden City (two candidates).

• Ward 3 alderman seat in Peculiar (two candidates).

• At-Large and Precinct No. 22 council member seats in Pleasant Hill (two candidates).

• Ward 4 council member seat in Raymore (two candidates).

School board races are slated for the Cass Midway (three seats, four candidates), East Lynne (three seats, four candidates), Harrisonville (three seats, five candidates), Pleasant Hill (three seats, nine candidates), and Raymore-Peculiar (three seats, six candidates) school districts.

A countywide sample ballot will be available on the Cass County Clerk’s website (www.casscounty.com) prior to the election.

If individuals are interested in obtaining a sample ballot exclusive to their polling place, they should call the clerk’s office to receive a copy.

Here is some more information voters should know before they go to the polls:

Who is eligible to vote? Anyone who is a U.S. citizen, a resident of Cass County, at least 18 years old, and is not serving any felony sentences is eligible to vote. But, you must have registered by Tuesday, March 12.

A person who is 17 years and 6 months, or older, may register, but they must be 18 years old on or before election day to be eligible to vote.

Where do I vote? You can visit the website of the Missouri Secretary of State Office (www.sos.mo.gov/elections/PollingPlaceLookup) to search for your polling place. The Cass County Clerk's office will also soon be mailing out new voter identification cards to all registered voters in the county before the April. The voter’s polling place will be listed on the card, along with a listing of the voter’s units of government (school and fire districts, hospital boards, city wards, etc.) that they are able to vote within.

Voters in Belton’s Precincts 40 and 41 will have a new polling location for the April election from where they have gone in the past. According to Cass County Clerk Janet Burlingame, the new location will be printed on the voter identification cards that will be mailed out to voters in the respective areas.

When do I vote? The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8.

Will I need identification? Yes. You can use any of these forms:

• The preferred identification is the voter ID card from the Cass County Clerk’s Office.

• A driver’s license.

• An ID issued by a government or state agency.

• An ID issued by an institution of higher education (university, college, vocational and technical school) located within Missouri.

• A passport, Social Security card, Medicaid or Medicare card, or other identification issued by the federal government.

• A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that contains your name and address.

What if I’ve moved since the last election? You'll need to notify the clerk’s office that you have changed your address as soon as possible.

If you moved from somewhere within Cass County, contact the clerk’s office as soon as possible to report your new address. If your new address isn’t listed in the election judge’s binder at the polling location on election day, voters will need to allow extra time for poll workers to call the clerk’s office to verify your address. Do not go to your previous polling location unless the new residence is within the same precinct.

If you moved from another county in Missouri, or from another state, you must register to vote by Tuesday, March 12.

Can I vote absentee? You may vote an absentee ballot by contacting the County Clerk’s Office within the Cass County Courthouse, 102 E. Wall St., Harrisonville, beginning six weeks prior to an election date. For the April election, voting absentee is available until 5 p.m. Monday, April 7. The clerk’s office will also be open the Saturday prior to the Election Day, 9 a.m.-noon April 5.

Ballots can also be mailed to voters wishing to vote absentee. The last day ballots will be mailed from the Clerk’s Office is Wednesday, April 2. Completed ballots must be returned to the Clerk’s Office by Election Day.

The following is a list of reasons for requesting an absentee ballot:

• Absent from the jurisdiction on election day.

• Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person responsible for the care of person confined.

• Religious belief or practice.

• Employment as an election worker.

• Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained.

Are more election judges needed? The Cass County Clerk’s Office has already selected the needed number of election judges for the April election day. However, they are still seeking individuals for future elections, or to fill in on the April election if an election judge is no longer available to serve.

Where do I go for more information? Contact the Cass County Clerk’s Office at 816-380-8102, or visit their office on the first floor of the Cass County Courthouse, 102 E. Wall St., Harrisonville. The office is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, including over the lunch hour.

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