Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 5

RM

| PERSPECTIVES

H A RT TO H E A RT

See you in Missouri
by Barry Hart | bhart@amec.coop

S

ummer may be over, and the kids are back
in school, but that doesn't mean tourism
season is over in Missouri. One look at our
Events section in this issue of Rural Missouri

will tell you fall is a great occasion to spend some
quality time in rural Missouri.
Tourism rivals agriculture as one of the top industries in the state. In fact, last year tourism made
a $16.5 billion impact on the state's economy. Missouri hosted 41.7 million visitors in 2016, which
was up 3.2 percent. The tourism industry is responsible for
more than 281,000 jobs.
While I don't yet know how
many people discovered Missouri thanks to the Aug. 21
eclipse, at this writing small
towns from St. Joseph to Ste.
Genevieve are rolling out the
welcome mat for eclipse-watching crowds estimated to be in
the hundreds of thousands.
This includes visitors from
countries all over the world.
Many retired people wait for
the crowds - and the temperature - to drop before heading out on a Missouri vacation.
That's not a bad idea, especially when you consider the
wide variety of fall festivals and
other events coming up.
This includes the Missouri
Valley Steam Engine Association tractor show featured on
our cover, which is the granddaddy of all Missouri antique
tractor shows.
I'm amazed at all of the classic car shows as well. This
month alone, car shows and
cruise-ins are being held in
Marshfield, Poplar Bluff, Lau-

rie, Hermann, Cape Girardeau, Belton and Zell to
name but a few. Car enthusiasts also will be driving
Route 66 in an annual Mother Road event.
Many fall festivals celebrate the culture of a region. There's Railroad Days in Crocker, Cow Days in
Dixon and a Country Harvest Festival in Maysville
and Chillicothe. Also on the agenda is some "Hootin
an Hollarin" at Gainesville.
Eminence is one town that has learned to celebrate its outdoor resources with its Trail Town Celebration and Kickoff for Fall Hiking Season. That's
a good reminder that fall trout fishing at Missouri's
four trout parks and Lake Taneycomo is always excellent.
The spring flooding had many people wondering if float trips on Missouri's scenic rivers would
be a bust this year. Far from it, the canoe liveries
rebounded quickly and river towns such as Van
Buren and Doniphan began welcoming floaters as
soon as the water cleared. Fall is one of my favorite
times to wet a lure on a Missouri stream.
As the leaves change color and the weather moderates, spending some time at a Missouri bed-andbreakfast can't be beat. The 125-plus wineries located across Missouri will have another vintage you
can sample, and the sounds of bluegrass music will
entertain you at some venues while you relax.
I can't think of a better place to be than in rural
Missouri in the fall. My time spent here is made all
the better knowing I am supporting the men and
women who are such great hosts.
Here's hoping our paths cross at some out-of-theway restaurant in the coming months. I wouldn't
mind another I-70 World Series between the Kansas
City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals either. See
you in Missouri!
Hart is executive vice president of the Association
of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

GUEST COLUMN

Registered? You can vote
by Jay Ashcroft | info@ruralmissouri.coop

the supporting documents required to
obtain such an ID. These provisions
were included in Missouri's statute
ince taking office in January
to ensure the law not only prohibits
and being tasked with impleineligible voters from committing vote
menting the voter ID law, we
fraud but also guarantees all eligible
have been sharing one simple,
voters their opportunity to vote.
easy-to-understand message: "If you're
Despite what you may have heard,
registered to vote, you can vote."
critics of the law cannot point to one
Missouri's new voting requirements
single individual who will be denied
took effect on June 1, 2017, and local
their right to vote on election day.
election authorities have held two sucWe have been aggressively working to
cessful elections thus far. Not one regtrain poll workers, communicate with
istered voter was turned away from
election authorities and inform Miscasting a ballot on election day. Our
sourians about the simple yet imporlocal election officials and poll workers
Jay Ashcroft
tant message: "If you're registered to
deserve to be recognized for their hard
vote, you can vote."
work and dedication.
In a July 11 election in St. Louis, about 93 perThe law, which 63 percent of Missourians supported last November, includes a provision requir- cent of voters used photo IDs, 6.6 percent used voting the government to provide individuals without er registration cards and 2.2 percent used another
a photo ID a free government-issued non-driver form of identification. Out of more than 1,900 ballicense. The law also directs my office to help secure lots cast on election day, just three provisional bal-

S

lots were cast. Every ballot cast was counted.
In fewer than eight weeks, we've held almost 130
meetings across Missouri, covering more than twothirds of the counties in our state. We've helped
hundreds of individuals with questions through the
ShowIt2Vote Hotline (866-868-3245) and our ShowIt2Vote.com website and provided tens of thousands
of flyers and other educational materials to anyone
who asked.
We will continue to work diligently to protect the
fundamental right of all registered Missouri voters
to cast a ballot. Our job as election officials isn't to
pick winners and losers, it's to ensure we uphold
the integrity of the ballot box. We are proud to
work with the men and women serving our state as
county clerks, election boards and poll workers, as
everyone works together for successful elections in
the future.
The bottom line: If you're an eligible registered
Missouri voter, you can vote.
Ashcroft is Missouri's secretary of state.
SEPTEMBER 2017 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

5


http://www.showIt2Vote.com http://www.showIt2Vote.com http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2017

Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 4
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 5
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 6
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 7
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 8
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 9
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Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover4
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