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MO: Weather May Affect Voting

By Rob Stein
State election officials in Missouri said voting was going smoothly despite a few isolated reports of problems.

"We've had a few isolated reports of issues that we've been referring to the counties and trying to help them resolve. i.e. reports of St. Louis County poll workers requiring a photo ID to vote," said Mindy Mazur of the secretary of state's office. Photo IDs are not required under state law she said. "Our staff is working to help the local officials resolve these issues as they come up."

Although officials were expecting a heavy turn-out, rain and possible snow could limit that, she said.

"The weather is not great - and may be getting worse - in parts of the state which could affect turnout," she said.

Fifty-eight delegates are at stake on the Republican side and 88 are up for grabs for the Democrats is one of the most competitive states for both parties.

State election officials projected that 28 percent of eligible voters would come to the polls for the state's primaries, a sharp increase from the 15 percent turnout four years ago.

In the days leading up to the voting, the state was the focus of last-minute appearances by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton(D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Polls showed McCain leading, but Huckabee and Romney close behind in some polls. On the Democratic side, Clinton and Obama are locked in a virtual tie.

Clinton is hoping to benefit from the state being next door to Arkansas, where she has deep roots. Obama is hoping to attract more independent voters and even some Republicans. On the Republican side, McCain is also going after independent voters, while Huckabee is popular in the southwestern part of the state--a bastion of evangelical Christians.

While the winner of the Republican primary will take all 58 of the states delegates, the Democrats allocate their delegates on a proportional basis. Forty-seven of the delegates will be awarded according to how well the candidates do in each of nine congressional districts while 25 will be awarded based on the statewide vote. Sixteen will be unpledged.

Obama picked up endorsements from three members of the state's congressional delegation and Clinton picked up one. Gov. Matt Blunt and House Speaker Rod Jetton endorsed Romney. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch endorsed Obama and McCain while the Kansas City Star endorsed Clinton.

By Post Editor  |  February 5, 2008; 2:22 PM ET
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