Staff Reports

The deadline to register to vote for the June 4 special election to fill the currently vacant Eighth District Congressional seat is Tuesday, May 7, at 5 p.m.

Running for the seat is Republican Jason Smith, of Salem; Democrat Steve Hodges, of East Prairie; Libertarian candidate Bill Slantz, of St. Charles; and Constitution Party candidate Doug Enyart, of Piedmont.

Voters who will be 18 years of age on or before June 4 must still register to vote by May 7 at 5 p.m. in order to be eligible to vote.

Phelps County Clerk Carol Bennett also wishes to advise registered Phelps County voters that absentee ballots for the June 4 election are now available in the county clerk’s office.

The deadline to vote absentee in the county clerk’s office is Monday, June 3, at 5 p.m. In accordance with election law, no ballots may be sent out or mailed out of the office after 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, unless a voter is hospitalized after that time, in which case a deputized absentee team could deliver a ballot to the hospital. Applications may be completed only by the voter or by the voter's next of kin.

The county clerk’s office will be open Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to noon for absentee balloting.

Legal reasons for voting by absentee ballot are as follows:

1. Absence on election day.

2. Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including caring for a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability.

3. Religious belief or practice.

4. Employment as an election authority at a location other than your polling place.

5. Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained.

In order to be counted, absentee ballots must be received in the county clerk's office, 200 N. Main St., Rolla, no later than 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4. Ballots may only be returned by the voter in person or by mail.

The Phelps County clerk offers full Phelps County election information on the county clerk’s website at

If you have any questions regarding absentee ballots or voter registration, contact Bennett at 573-458-6101.