Those impacted were refugees that now live in the City of Noel. Several of them thought they were registered to vote, but they were not. Election judges looked up the individuals on the state voter registration system, but could not find them.
McDonald County Clerk Kimberly Bell says she’s had to turn them away, explaining that most of the people who were not located had no record in the system and some were even deleted.
“Either they haven’t voted lately and when we send out the cards we do a canvass. So, when we send the cards out, if we get them turned back to us in the mail so many times, then we can’t locate them. Then, we’ll go ahead and delete them,” explained McDonald County Clerk Kimberly Bell.
The voters who were turned away are refugees from various countries in Africa and the Middle East. Bell says a language barrier played a part in the confusion.
The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office was present at precincts in case there were any problems.
“It’s just to make sure that everybody gets a chance to vote and their process doesn’t get stopped because somebody wants to cause a problem,” said McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall.
Those who were turned away are now registered to vote and will be able to participate in the next election.