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On the ballot

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Election day is just over a week away. 

Polk County voters will decide a series of local races and issues, as well as several state and national elections, on Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

Locally, voters will elect a coroner, choosing between independents Jeff Witt and Debra Volcko. 

The county’s northern district residents will choose between Republican Kyle Legan and Democrat Leonard Walburn. 

In the southern district, Republican Melinda Robertson and Democrat Al Skalicky are on the ballot. 

Polk Countians will also help decide the race for State House of Representatives District 128 between Republican Mike Stephens and Democrat Marvin Manring. 

The county is also part of U.S. House District 7, where Republican Billy Long faces Democrat Teresa Montseny and Libertarian Kevin Craig. 

Big issues 

Morrisville residents have two ballot measures to decide. 

The city has proposed an additional 1% city sales tax and a “local use tax at the same rate as the total local sales tax rate.”

The city’s sales tax is currently at 1%, Morrisville mayor Dustin Kessler previously said. 

“If the local sales tax rate is reduced or raised by voter approval, the local use tax rate shall also be reduced or raised by the same action,” the measure reads. “A use tax return shall not be required to be filed by persons whose purchases from out-of-state vendors do not in total exceed two thousand dollars in any calendar year.”

The use tax fills in a technical loophole that would have excluded the city from certain funding for road projects and comes recommended by the Missouri Municipal League, Kessler said. 

“If the use tax passes, the rate will be set with whatever the sales tax rate is at and will automatically adjust if that rate ever changes,” he said. “You would not pay both a sales and a use tax on a transaction. You would pay one or the other but never both.”

Kessler told the BH-FP the sales tax would help fund a police department for the city, which would operate in cooperation with the Marion C. Early School District. 

Two statewide issues are also on the ballot for all Polk County voters. 

Amendment 1 asks voters if they want to amend the Missouri Constitution to extend the two-term restriction, which currently applies to the governor and treasurer, to the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor and the attorney general. 

Amendment 3 asks voters if they want to “ban gifts from paid lobbyists to legislators and their employees,” “reduce legislative campaign contribution limits” and “change the redistricting process voters approved in 2018 by: (i) transferring responsibility for drawing state legislative districts from the Nonpartisan State Demographer to Governor-appointed bipartisan commissions; (ii) modifying and reordering the redistricting criteria.”

Statewide races

Gov. Mike Parson will face Democrat Nicole Galloway in the general election. Libertarian Rik Combs and Green Party candidate Jerome Howard Bauer will also appear on the ballot. 

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, a Republican, is challenged by Democrat Alissia Canady, Libertarian Bill Slantz and Green Party candidate Kelley Dragoo. 

Republican Secretary of State John “Jay” Ashcroft will appear on the ballot with Democrat Yinka Faleti, Libertarian Carl Herman Freese, Green Party candidate Paul Lehmann and Constitution Party candidate Paul Venable. 

Republican incumbent Scott Fitzpatrick, Democrat Vicki Lorenz Englund, Libertarian Nick Kasoff and Green Party candidate Joseph Civettini are each seeking election as state treasurer. 

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt faces a challenge from Democrat Rich Finneran and Libertarian Kevin C. Babcock. 

How to vote absentee

The Polk County Clerk’s office is open for absentee voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office will also be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 31. 

The deadline for casting an absentee ballot in person at the clerk’s office is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2. 

According to the clerk’s office, the deadline to request a ballot by mail has passed. 

For more information about registration or voting, call the clerk’s office

at 326-4031.

Voting machine testing

Public pre-testing of the vote tabulating machines was Thursday, Oct. 22. 

Public post-testing of the machines is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Polk County Road and Bridge Complex conference room, 724 S Killingsworth Ave., Bolivar.

All candidates and the public are invited to attend.

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