Voters will be participating in a presidential election later this year, but many voters will be able to take part in a long-time election process on a more local level later this month.

The annual Marion County Extension Council election will begin Jan. 20 and end Jan. 26. Persons wishing to participate in the election can do so online at https://extension2.missouri.edu/counties/marion/county-council/county-council-election or by filling out a ballot at the county extension office in the Marion County Courthouse in Palmyra.

Extension council elections have been a long time tradition in the county.

The extension program in Marion County began on April 21, 1913, and the Extension Council began in 1956 after the Missouri Legislator passed a law in 1955 creating them. 

In those days, the council was made up of one man and one woman from each township.

But, over the years, voting and getting people to run for the council has become increasingly less active.

“We have extremely low participation,” said Christopher Kempke, who serves as county engagement specialist for University Extension in Marion County.

And, there are rarely races for open council seats.

See entire story in this week's Palmyra Spectator.