I don’t know what the original conception was relative to the story that appeared on Sunday’s front page of the Joplin Globe, but I do know that it came out as an advertisement for the Jasper County Republican Party and its efforts to get out the vote for Roy Blunt and Tom Schweich.
It also read as a plea for volunteers from the ranks of uninspired Republicans to help out the party two days away from the election.
The headline of the story could have been:
Help! Local Republicans Looking For Volunteers! Sign Up Now! Hurry! Democrats May Win!
The story, though, had this headline:
Turnout worries GOP
With this subhead:
With low number of voters
party ratcheting up efforts
And in the spirit of fairness, on this Jon Stewart sanity weekend, without further comment, I shall post the entire story, so readers can judge for themselves:
Jasper County Republicans are trying to ratchet up local voter turnout in the wake of predictions that only 20 percent of the county’s registered voters will show up at the polls on Tuesday.
Republicans need a high voter turnout locally to offset areas around Kansas City and St. Louis where Democrat voter turnout is expected to be high, said John Putnam, chairman of the Jasper County Republican Central Committee.
“The prediction they had for our voter turnout was the lowest in the state,” said Putnam, citing a report issued by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office earlier in the week, based on numbers of absentee ballots cast.
The office was predicting voter turnout statewide would average more than 51 percent.
Workers in the election division of the Jasper County clerk’s office now expect the local turnout will land between 30 and 35 percent, said Doris Moorehouse, a deputy clerk in the office.
She said the 20 percent level was based on numbers of absentee ballots cast earlier, but that those numbers have increased significantly since the report to the state.
“We’ve gotten a lot more absentee voters since then; now we’re up to 1,778. We’ve never been this busy in an off-year election,” she said at midmorning Friday.
The county had more than 7,000 absentee voters two years ago, she said, when voter turnout was 61.5 percent. Jasper County has 76,247 registered voters.
The same report that noted a 20 percent prediction for Jasper County forecast a 54 percent turnout in Jackson County and 55 percent in Cass County, both in the Kansas City area, and 47 percent in St. Louis city and 63 percent in St. Louis County. Among other counties in the region, turnouts are predicted at 45 percent in Newton County, 58 percent in Barton County, 52 percent in Vernon County, and 22 percent in McDonald County.
Putnam cited the results of earlier statewide elections when Jim Talent won the U.S. Senate race and Matt Blunt won the gubernatorial contest.
“In the cases where Republicans have won close statewide races, there has been a high voter turnout in Jasper and Newton counties, and a margin (of victory) for Republicans of about 70 percent,” he said. “It’s not an issue in the congressional race, but we’ll need that for Blunt and Schweich (Roy Blunt, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, and Tom Schweich, for auditor),” he said.
Putnam said he also is concerned because Jasper County has only a single countywide race — the presiding commissioner race between John Bartosh, the GOP incumbent, and Timothy Teed, an independent candidate.
He said the committee is working to sign volunteers to work telephone banks, distribute literature and place candidate yard signs.
“Our volunteer numbers are lower, but it’s hard to compare,” he said. “In the presidential year you have people knocking down your door to volunteer; it’s always lower in the off-years.”