Behind the Scenes: Process of collecting, counting votes in Clay County

Posted at 11:32 AM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 13:35:19-05

CLAY COUNTY, Mo. — As polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday night across Missouri, a group of workers and volunteers signed-on to help collect and count votes.

KSHB 41 I-Team reporter Jessica McMaster was embedded along with Clay County Election Office workers starting Monday, as crews checked equipment and distributed voting machines to polling places.

Our embed continued on Tuesday.

LINK | Follow Jessica McMaster's embed on Twitter

As voters turned out to the polls Tuesday morning, we tagged along with Art Crabtree, who was serving as the roving deputy for elections in Clay County.


Art told us he responds to any request from precincts across the county. Some of those requests are pretty mundane, as we saw first hand as he delivered extra pens to Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.

Art Extra Pens.jpeg

As Art continued his rounds, we visited another precinct. They were good on pens, but asked if Art had some WD-40 handy to quiet a squeaky door.

We would eventually return to Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, where the worker in charge of the precinct had requested Art's help with curbside voting.

While were were en route, Art told us a request like curbside reporting takes two people.

As the sun set on election day, workers back at the Clay County Elections office waited for ballots to start arriving.

To help keep the ballots and election workers safe, Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Doss and his K9 partner Duke were on hand.


Once the ballots started to return back to the office from precincts across the county, everyone pitched in to help carry the ballots from the trunks of cars from precinct judges into the election office for tabulation. That group included several Boy Scouts from the area.

RELATED | Boy Scouts help deliver ballots

The process of unloading ballots from the vehicles was meticulous, and included workers double-checking trunks to make sure no ballots or equipment was left behind.

Workers and volunteers brought the ballots and equipment, now on wheeled carts, into the election office for sorting and tabulation.

Once we were also inside, we caught up with Robin, who was one of the election workers checking in equipment and ballots as they arrived.

We found those workers quickly going through the process of organizing and counting. If you remember Art from earlier, we caught back up with him as we worked to complete another layer of checks.

As the ballots were tabulated, we watched as the county's election website updated each race with results.

Those Boy Scouts we found earlier helping to deliver the ballots? They were rewarded for their efforts with a can of soda.

Around 9:30 p.m., many of the election workers started to get ready to head home as ballot counting neared completion.

For some of the workers, they'll return Wednesday morning to complete follow-up checks. You can catch our coverage of that effort online and on KSHB 41.