FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan Announces Record Number of Missourians Cast Ballots in General Election
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced a record 2.9 million Missourians, or 69 percent of eligible voters, cast their ballots in Tuesday’s general election. The previous record of 2.7 million voters was set in 2004. It has been over 15 years, since 1992, that turnout exceeded 69 percent. The success of this election was a testament to the preparations of the local election officials, the poll workers and Missouri voters.
“On Tuesday, voters across Missouri made sure their voices were heard,” Carnahan said. “We are proud of the excellent poll workers, local election officials and the patience that voters showed on a day that will go down in the history of our nation.”
In anticipation of high turnout, the Secretary of State’s office made $2 million available to help pay for additional poll workers, particularly college students. Local Election Officials across the state used these funds to increase the number of poll workers serving in busy polling places. Over the last 2 years, more than 7,000 new poll workers have been recruited by the Secretary of State’s office and more than 1,100 college students worked at the polls this November. The Secretary of State’s office also provided new training materials for all poll workers across the state. The recruitment, training and preparation paid off, with no reports of polling places running out of ballots and only minor technical problems.
Voters across the state used resources on the www.GoVoteMissouri.com website to prepare for the election. More than 170,000 Missourians visited the website’s voter information lookup tool, allowing voters to make sure they were registered, find their polling place, and view a sample ballot. The www.GoVoteMissouri.com website was launched in late September and more than 40,000 Missourians downloaded voter registration applications from the website.
The Secretary of State’s office also enhanced and expanded their election night reporting maps for the general election. This interactive online tool displays county-level vote totals for statewide races, ballot initiatives, state senate and state representative races. On Election Day, the website was viewed 20 million times as voters from across the state and the nation followed Missouri’s election results.
This record turnout and the renewed excitement in voting gives even further credence to the need for early voting. Over 30 states have some form of early voting, including 7 of our 8 neighboring states. Long lines and absentee voting only with an excuse are out of date. It is time Missouri voters had the ability to vote when it is convenient for them without an excuse and know that their voice will be heard. Secretary Carnahan and her office will continue to work with the Missouri legislature to ensure that early voting is available to voters in future elections.
Finally, the election results must go through a certification process before they are official. Local election officials have until November 18th to verify their results and process the provisional ballots cast throughout Missouri.
An interactive turnout map can be viewed online: http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrmaps
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To find out more about Missouri’s Secretary of State’s office, visit www.sos.mo.gov
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