LA RUSSELL, Mo. — The last time voters in Southwest Missouri went to the polls was to elect a president – and they did so in large numbers. But only a fraction of them voted in Tuesday’s local elections.
One town did less than that.
According to County Clerk Charlie Davis, just under 6% of registered voters in Jasper County went to the polls as part of Tuesday’s local elections. But there was at least one municipality where no one exercised their right to vote.
At first, Davis thought something must have gone wrong at the poll where residents go to vote.
Charlie Davis, Jasper County Clerk, said, “So we started looking and making sure everything was done correctly, we actually pulled every one of those ballots from that polling location and sure enough not a single ballot in there ballot 44 which is for the city of La Russell.”
Granted, there are only 70 registered voters in La Russell, but surely he thought at least one of them would have voted, as it turned out, not even the two candidates vying for a council position bothered to cast ballots. Although Gene Campbell wasn’t one of them, she feels bad about missing the first election since she’s been old enough to vote.
Gene Campbell, La Russell Resident, said, “But because of some rather serious family illnesses, I was pre-occupied with care giving and really I’m disappointed about it myself and ashamed that I wasn’t there to vote.”
Davis says La Russell residents have to drive about seven miles to Sarcoxie in order to vote. He says voters there also missed out on a chance to renew an agreement with the Avilla Fire Protection District, but he thinks that issue might go back on the November ballot.
“If you’re the only person to vote for an issue on the ballot then you will make the decision so it is absolutely crucial that everybody has the opportunity to vote and you’re vote does matter and this is a prime example of one person could have changed the outcome of two different measures that were on the ballot at the same time,” said Davis.