OREGON COUNTY -- Absentee voting is now under way for the Nov. 7 general election at Oregon County Clerk Gary Hensley's first floor office in the Oregon County Courthouse at Alton.
Voters can vote absentee in person during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the clerk's office.
Hensley said that although two election issues were still being appealed, a proposed state amendment that would increase taxes on tobacco products and a requirement that voters have photo identification, the Secretary of State's Office had instructed county clerks across the state to proceed with absentee voting.
Absentee voting can also be done by mail, with Nov. 1 the last day that the clerk's office can mail out absentee ballots.
In addition to regular Monday through Friday hours for in-person voting, the clerk's office will also be open on the Saturday prior to the election, Nov. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, and will stay open until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6.
"We need to remind voters they may need a little more time to vote than usual this election because of a new state law that will allow Missouri voters for the first time ever to vote a split party ticket," Hensley said.
Hensley said that the last general election 40 percent of the voters in the state voted a straight party ticket, but that did not keep the Missouri Legislature from passing Senate Bill 14. It was signed by Gov. Blunt Aug. 28 and will go into effect the general election Nov. 7.
"If people are going to be pressed for time or are going to vote during their lunch hour, they may need to take a little more time because there will be no more straight ballot tickets," he said.
For more information about absentee voting or any other election matter voters can call Henley's office at 417-778-7475.