Missouri’s Republican Party has admitted to sending out mailers to 10,000 voters with false information about absentee ballots, a mistake the party’s chairman blames on a vendor.
As The Kansas City Star reports, some 10,000 voters across the Show-Me State received fliers from the Missouri Republican Party that had false information about when voters can request absentee ballots, and about when those ballots are due. Specifically, the fliers, which read “URGENT NOTICE” in red across the top, in all capital letters, encourages readers to turn in their absentee ballots “today” and tells readers that absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
That is not true. Missouri absentee voters actually have until Election Day, November 6, to get their absentee ballots postmarked. In fact, Missouri voters can request absentee ballots up until Wednesday, Oct. 31 – the day after the state’s Republican Party claimed they’re due.
Ray Bozarth, the party’s Executive Director, says that the incorrect mailers were sent to likely Republican voters as part of the “Missouri Republican Party’s get-out-the-vote effort,” according to The Hill. Bozarth says that the error occurred because of a “miscommunication” between his party and a third-party vendor. He declined to name the vendor or how the error occurred.
Boazarth also promised that new fliers, with the correct information, will be sent out “very soon.”
The Missouri Republican Party sent mailers to 10,000 voters across the state with false information about when their absentee ballots are due, the party’s executive director acknowledged Friday. https://t.co/n6lyM6JY9o #MOleg
— Rev Bren Hadjian (@DrHadjian) October 20, 2018
“Those folks are going to get mailers with the correct information,”
Kansas City Star writer Allison Kite notes that some voters could likely read the incorrect fliers and conclude that they’ve missed their chance to vote, and thus miss out on the opportunity to cast their vote. And indeed, Bozarth admits that he “heard from maybe one or two people” about the mistake. He says that his office has been directing confused voters to he secretary of state’s website and to the Republican National Comittiee’s voter turnout website. Further, Bozarth says he’s “confident” that likely Republican voters won’t be deterred from voting because of this mistake.
Allen Seabaugh, the supervisor of elections in Cape Girardeau County, tells Missourinet that voters should always get their information about election and voting specifics from an official source – in this case, their county clerk.
“It is concerning when information is released by groups that may be inaccurate. Because voters then start to question how elections are done in their area. Our job is to run elections in a fair and efficient manner and that is what we are here to do. We want to give voters the most accurate information.”