SIKESTON -- With Missouri's presidential primary just a bit more than a month away on Feb. 5, county clerks are reminding constituents of things they need to do to make election day a bit less crazy for all involved.
One of the biggest tips is to be sure all address or name changes are reported, said Rita Milam, Scott County Clerk. She said people who move within the same county or city often don't realize this is a must.
"But the law says you have to vote where you reside," said Milam. It's especially important for those in Sikeston, who vote according to wards.
"If you call or come to our office and get that done, it's so much easier on election day," Milam said.
Dana Fisher, deputy county clerk in New Madrid County, noted that those who move don't have to go to the courthouse, but can also visit their city clerk or license bureau. Those who move can even call the office, which can then send a form.
"We need everybody to be in the book right," said Fisher. "It just keeps everything from being so crazy that day."
Milam and Fisher noted that absentee ballots for the Feb. 5 election should be mailed out later this week or sometime next week.
There's a form to be filled out for that as well, which must be done each election. For the presidential primary, voters must denote what party ballot they wish to vote, Milam noted.
And it's not just for those who will be out of town on election day -- absentee voting is also offered to residents who have a hard time getting out of the house and to their voting place.
"A lot of people don't realize that," said Fisher.
But for those who do go to cast their ballot in person, two Scott County precincts have moved.
Milam said the Broadway Precinct, which has voted at the Illinois Baptist Church in the past, will now cast their votes at the East Side Church of the Nazarene, located at 129 Ralph Ave.
"Due to other commitments, the church asked not to be used anymore," said Milam.
Also voting at a different location will be the West Malone Precinct, in which voters have previously voted at the West End Missionary Church. The new location will be at Fire Station 1, located at 301 N. West.
Milam said moving the precinct was done thinking long-term. "The fire station is more handicap accessible and it's a government building," she said. "The law urges us to use as many government buildings as we can, and this one falls in that category."
Neither New Madrid County nor Mississippi County have moved any voting precincts, said Fisher and Junior Delay, Mississippi county clerk.
Those who aren't registered to vote need to do so by Jan. 9 to be eligible to vote in the February election. For the April 8 election, which includes local positions such as school board and city council seats, the final day to register is March 12, said Fisher.
Milam noted that in addition to the typical places one can register to vote, she will be at the county's satellite office, located at 514 South Main in Sikeston, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the remainder of the month. One needs to bring photo identification, as well as documentation will all of their current information.
And after the first of January, registered voters will receive pink voter registration verification cards, said Milam.
"If there's anything wrong on them, (voters) need to fill them out and turn around and mail it back to us," she said. "But if everything is correct, sign the card and keep it."
Staff at the three offices urged that anyone with questions or other issues contact them by phone or an office visit.