Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller Sunday night released on social media a joint statement with Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon regarding emergency declarations and their impact on elections.
Schoeller’s statement states that in his view, the current Missouri laws on elections does not “proactively serve voters.”
According to Schoeller, current Missouri law only has two election provisions that address emergencies like COVID-19.
One section allows for the Missouri Secretary of State to allow for delivery and return of absentee ballots by “facsimile transmission device or system” in the event of emergency. However, Schoeller says that the law doesn’t define a “facsimile transmission device or system.”
The other section allows elections to be rescheduled or relocated but only with an action of a court. There is no provisions in state election law for a state-wide disruption of elections.
Schoeller says that will greatly decrease the likelihood of a uniform response across the state. He feels this means the current law does not address current challenges due to COVID-19.
“It is our view that health directors, emergency management directors, and election administrators should be able to work together in the public’s best interest to protect our community’s health, safety, and right to vote,” Schoeller and Lennon wrote. “Voters shouldn’t have to choose to sacrifice one over another. The only choice a voter should be making is on the ballot they cast. Elections are about the people’s voices being heard and we will always fight to protect that opportunity and right.”