Plattsburg Polls Moved for Nov. 3 General Election
For many reasons, the sentiment that this year’s General Election will be a historic one is being played out right before our eyes. One doesn’t have to look at the national news for validation. Right here in Clinton County, the turnout will be one of the largest ever.
The voting crowds will be larger, and in Plattsburg, the polling place has been moved due to COVID-19. Clinton County Chief Deputy Clerk Nancy Zimmerman, who is approaching 22 years in the clerk’s office, has reported a prediction to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office that 80.6 percent of the registered voters will cast a ballot this year. That means upwards of 12,500 of the 15,555 registered voters could vote in the 2020 General Election in Clinton County.
That would be a record.
In the 2016 General Election, 10,225 of the 14,700 registered voters cast a ballot, 69.56 percent. Already this year, Zimmerman has issued 1,600 absentee ballots, with 1,443 of those already casting their vote. In the 2016 General Election, 990 voted absentee. If all 1,600 absentee ballots are returned, that would be an increase of 62 percent.
Those wanting to cast an absentee ballot at the Clinton County Courthouse can still do so until Monday, November 2, at 5 p.m. Zimmerman said they will be staying open an extra 30 minutes that day only. She said they have expanded their daytime hours by staying open during the noon hour. This coming Saturday, October 31, the clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon for absentee voting.
“Monday is the last day to cast an absentee ballot,” Zimmerman said. “If you don’t vote then, you will have to go to the polls.”
Yet, another historic change is the polling place for those who normally cast their ballot at the Clinton County Courthouse. They will now be casting their votes at Tinnen Town Hall, 100 E. Maple Street, (next to the Plattsburg License Office) just north of the courthouse. This change was made due to COVID-19 regulations mandated by the circuit court. Those who enter the courthouse have to answer a series of questions and have their temperature checked. This had the potential of adding significant time and longer lines for voting on November 3.
“This is for this November’s General Election only,” Zimmerman said. “Once again, absentee voters will still be voting at the courthouse. We will still be encouraging social distancing and the wearing of masks.”
Steve Tinnen, owner of Tinnen Town Hall and publisher of the Clinton County Leader, said that he is excited about using the location for voting.
“My grandfather, H.O. Tinnen, came to Plattsburg in 1935 from Ravanna, Missouri, to open a Ford dealership,” Tinnen said. “Joining him was his wife, Aggie, and his son, Skip. I know he would be proud to have his building serve the people for such an important occasion.”
The polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. According to Zimmerman, everybody who is in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote. However, anybody who is not in line by 7 p.m. will not be allowed to vote. A poll worker will be dispatched to determine who is in line at that time.
The ballot will be dominated with state and national elections and issues, with one local exception. Plattsburg voters will decide whether to continue a half-cent capital improvements sales tax that helps to fund Bodie’s Municipal Pool and the Plattsburg Senior Center.