Absentee and mail-in voting skyrockets in the St. Louis area

Missouri

Voters wait in line to cast their early ballots at Miami Beach City Hall in Miami Beach, Florida on October 20, 2020. – With two weeks to go until Election Day, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden adopted radically different strategies to secure votes — the Republican incumbent ramped up his appearances and the Democratic challenger opted to hunker down at home. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS – The 2020 general election is proving to break records in absentee and mail-in voting throughout the St. Louis Region. FOX2Now made some calls to see what the turnout has been so far:

Missouri (as of 10/29):

  • 60,377 Mail-In ballots requested
  • 733,389 Absentee ballots requested
  • 723,058 Ballots returned to local election authority

For the 2016 November General Election there were only 304,869 absentee ballots requested in Missouri

City of St. Louis (as 0f 10/30):

  • 21,615 ballots requested
  • 16,662 ballots returned
  • 21,901 ballots have been cast by walk-in absentee voters
  • 700 ballots have been surrendered and then those voters voted in person
  • 4,000 paper ballots out in the city that has not yet been returned

Ben Borgmeyer the Democratic Director of elections from the City of St. Louis Board of Elections said voters at the Board of Elections office have been waiting a maximum of 30 minutes to cast their ballot. The Buder Library has seen a steady flow of people waiting about an hour to vote. The other three auxiliary locations, Schlafly Library, Central Library, and the Julia Davis Library have had hardly any line according to Borgmeyer. He encourages people to utilize them. He said people can park in the Argyle Garage for free if they’re voting at the Schlafly Library. Their “I voted” sticker works as validation.

St. Louis County (as of 10/30):

  • 229,453 ballots requested
  • 207,583 ballots have been returned ( 141,762 ballots by mail; 64,499 in-person)

Democratic election director for St. Louis County Eric Fey said in 2016 there were 61,000 absentee ballots cast. Fey said he expects there to be lines on November 3. He said he saw the longest lines yet on Friday, October 30.

He said he expects between 300,000 and 350,000 people to vote on election day. Fey calculated that number by looking at the number of people who voted in 2016, 524,000, and subtracting the number of ballots the elections board has already received, 207,583.

There are four satellite locations where voters can cast their ballot, the St. Louis County Government Center West, the St. Louis County Government Center South, the Mid County Branch Library, and the North County Rec Complex. The St. Louis County Election Board website shows how many people are waiting in line at each voting center. When FOX 2 checked at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 30 there were between 175 and 250 people waiting in line at each one of the polling places.

St. Charles County:

  • 62,782 ballots requested
  • 34,594 people have voted in-person
  • 28,188 people were sent a mail-in ballot
  • 12,700 ballots back by mail
  • 6,500 ballots have been returned in-person

St. Charles County Election Authority Director Kurt Bahr said four years ago there was approximately 22,000 absentee votes by mail. Bahr also said St. Charles County grew by 15,000 voters since 2016.

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