Missouri Secretary of State Ashcroft Urges Voters to Use Trusted Sources to Request Ballots, Be Wary of Third Parties that Collect Data
Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) With the July 22, 2020, absentee and mail-in ballot request deadline looming for the August 4 primary election, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft urged Missouri voters to take advantage of trusted sources of information, such as their county clerks and boards of election. Missouri voters are encouraged to contact those officials or the secretary of state’s office with any questions about the absentee or mail-in ballot application process.
“Voting is a privilege, a right, and a responsibility,” Ashcroft said. “I want to make sure Missouri voters know that ballot applications are best obtained from election officials, and to beware of third parties that email you a pre-populated ballot application once you enter your personal data. Once you hand over your personal information, you have no way of knowing how it might be used in the future.”
While state law does allow a family member to submit an absentee or mail-in ballot request for a voter, the law does not allow such applications to be submitted by a third party outside that familial relationship. Two weeks ago, the Secretary of State’s office became aware of an organization doing just that, and intervened on behalf of Missouri voters. Such ballot applications, per state law, must be submitted by the voter or family member, and submission by a third party leaves some question as to whether the ballot application is valid.
To find contact information for your local election authority, select your county from the drop-down list found on the Secretary of State’s website.