Sample ballots in St. Louis County aim to make voting process faster

A sample ballot that will be mailed to St. Louis County voters. Credit: KMOV

For the first time the St. Louis County Election Board is sending out sample ballots to residents. These ballots are taking the place of the postcards everyone used to get in the mail telling them where to vote.

The ballots look like brochures and still have polling place information on them. The difference is officials hope voters take the time to go through each ballot and figure out who they want to vote for before heading to their polling place.

“This is a first for us,” Director of Election Eric Fey said. “We came up with this idea because the ballot is long. There is a minimum of 30 choices for St. Louis County residents.”

“We want folks to be able to familiarize themselves with the ballot before they went to the polling place in hopes they could expedite the process.”

So far in absentee voting it’s taking people around six to seven minutes on average to go through the entire process. When November 8 comes around if you take that average time and multiply it by the thousand or so voters coming through it adds up.

That’s why election officials want voters to be prepared before they go vote.

In addition to familiarizing yourself with the ballot there is also a bar code on many of these mailings. A lot of polling places now will be able to scan that code when you walk in which makes signing in faster as well.

“Let’s call it a two-fer. We get expedited sign in and expedited voting, hopefully, from our voters who are diligent about this, take it with them and utilize it fully,” Fey said.

Elections officials do want residents in St. Louis County to know it was cheaper to mail out the same sample ballot to each voter. But because residents in one part of the county will have some different choices than a resident in another part of the county, there will be items on the ballot which do not apply to everyone.

Officials say to read through the ballot carefully and figure out which ones apply to you and which ones do not.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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