BENTON - When you head to the polls Tuesday, voters need to not only remember which amendments and candidates they favor but also some form of identification.
Beginning with this election, all voters are required to present personal identification to the election judges before receiving a ballot. While the voter identification card provided by the county clerk's office is for this purpose, those wishing to vote could also use a driver's license, utility bill, payroll check or "anything that has their name and address on it, basically," explained Scott County Clerk Rita Milam.
Milam noted that polling places have always had signs posted that identification is required, but it hasn't always been enforced. "Now it needs to be. I think at first it may bother some people but from here on out voters will get used to it," she added.
With no contested countywide offices, Milam admitted she wasn't sure how to project voter turnout on Tuesday. She did say the number of absentee ballots requested is down from two years ago.
Those who would like to vote an absentee ballot can do so at Milam's office from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and also during business hours Monday. Also the New Madrid and the Mississippi county clerks' offices will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday for those wishing to cast absentee ballots.
On the ballots, Republican Jo Ann Emerson is seeking another term as Eighth District representative. Also seeking this office are Gene Curtis, Democrat, and Eric Van Oostrom, Libertarian.
In the 160th District, Republican incumbent Peter Myers is facing a challenge from Democrat Donnie Kiefer while in the 161st District, Republican Lanie Black is seeking re-election and is opposed by Democrat Wayne Petitt. Denny Merideth, a Democrat, is unopposed in his bid for another term as 162nd District representative.
None of the candidates face opposition on the Scott County ballot. Democrats seeking election are: Hense Winchester, Division 4 Associate Circuit judge; David C. Mann, Division 5 Associate Circuit judge; Martin Priggel, presiding commissioner; Pam Glastetter, circuit court clerk; Rita Milam, county clerk; Thomas R. Dirnberger, recorder of deeds, Paul R. Boyd, prosecuting attorney; Mark Hensley, collector; and Glenda K. Enderle, county treasurer.
Scott County voters, except those in Allen Precinct, will all have the same polling places as in the August Primary. Residents of Allen Precinct will cast their votes on Tuesday at the Trinity Gospel Church.
New Madrid County residents will decide who will serve as their next presiding commissioner. Incumbent Clyde M. Hawes, a Democrat, is being challenged by Jared H. Jones, who filed as an Independent candidate.
Running without opposition are Democrats: Charles Spitler, associate circuit judge; Marsha Meatte Holiman, clerk of the circuit court; Jim W. Farrenburg, county clerk; Ann Evans Copeland, recorder of deeds; Tommy Bradley, treasurer; Lewis H. Recker, prosecuting attorney; Brian Mauk, county auditor; and Dewayne Nowlin, collector.
Those residing in the New Madrid County R-1 School District are being asked to approve a proposal for the district to borrow $6 million for the construction and equipping of a new elementary school. The district proposes closing its three current elementary sites and moving students to a central location as a cost saving measure, according to school officials.
In Matthews, residents will decide whether to appoint a chief of police or to continue electing an individual to the post.
Marston voters are being asked to approve waterworks and sewerage system revenue bonds totaling $600,000. The money, which would serve as a match to other funds, would provide for extending and improving the city system. Repayment of the bonds would be through operation of the system.
Mississippi County's presiding commissioner's post is the only contested position on the ballot. Jim Blumenberg, a Democrat, is challenged in his re-election bid by C. David Williams, a Republican.
Running without opposition are Democrats Karen Turley, circuit court clerk; Herbert DeLay Jr., county clerk; Judy Rolwing, recorder of deeds; Sandra B. Smoot, county treasurer; Jennifer B. Raffety, prosecuting attorney; and Faye P. Elliott, collector of revenue.
East Prairie residents will vote yes or no on a proposal calling for the appointment of a collector.