We deserve the right to vote safely in Missouri!
Did you know…
· 5 states automatically mail ballots to their voters
· 28 states allow no-excuse absentee voting but, voters must ask for a ballot
· 7 of the remaining 17 states have waived their requirements of needing an “excuse” due to Covid-19
· And, then we have our state, Missouri, where our Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft, has failed to act and decide so counties are making their own rules. Some election boards around the state, including KCMO, already are allowing COVID-19 to be a reason to vote absentee.
The CDC has encouraged voters to cast ballots by mail to avoid crowds at the polls. Missouri allows absentee voting for those confined due to illness or disability - and those ballots do not require a notary. But SOS Jay Ashcroft - instead of issuing guidance that those staying home to avoid contracting or spreading the virus can vote absentee - has left the decision to local election authorities, leading to varying interpretations from one jurisdiction to the next.
We need no excuse absentee ballots in Missouri, and we need to be allowed to return our ballots without a notary.
We are currently and will still be under some restrictions on election day June 2nd, as Governor Parson has extended the state's Declaration of Emergency until June 15th.
CALL TO ACTION
Call, write an email, or submit a letter to Governor Mike Parson, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, AND your Missouri State Senator and Representative, explaining that we should be allowed to vote no-excuse absentee WITHOUT the need to find a notary to notarize the ballot.
Governor Michael Parson - (573) 751-3222 or https://governor.mo.gov/contact-us
Missouri Secretary of State - Jay Ashcroft - (573) 751-2301 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Emery - SD 31 - (573) 751- 2108 Ed.Emery@senate.mo.gov
HD 33 – Donna Pfautsch - 573-751-9766 – Donna.Pfautsch@house.mo.gov
HD 37 - Joe Runions - 573-751-0238 – Joe.Runions@house.mo.gov
HD 55 – Mike Haffner – 573-751- 3783 – Mike.Haffner@house.mo.gov
HD 56 – Jack Bondon - 573-751-2175 – Jack.Bondon@house.mo.gov
HD 57 – Rodger Reedy - 573-751-3971 – Rodger.Reedy@house.mo.gov
Sample talking points and resources to help you write your email -
· Missouri is currently under confinement to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and will likely continue to be under some restrictions on June 2nd. Parson has declared a State of Emergency through June 15th.
· Other election boards across the state are encouraging absentee ballots to reduce the spread, we should have that opportunity as well. For example, Former Republican State Legislator and current Saint Francois County Clerk Kevin Engler is encouraging voters to vote absentee. https://dailyjournalonline.com/news/local/county-clerk-says-vote-absentee/article_7e3b74e2-fbdc-52bc-b610-9e8c2219fb7e.html
· CDC recommended guidelines of “Encourage mail-in methods of voting if allowed in the jurisdiction.” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/election-polling-locations.html
· In Missouri voters can vote absentee if they expect to be prevented from going to their polling place on Election Day due to “Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability...”. Currently, we are all under a stay-at-home order, which is confinement due to illness, and we most likely will continue to be under some sort of restrictions past the June 2nd election.
· We also should be allowed to vote absentee without the need of a notary to return our ballots for the upcoming election
Read this letter from Judge Mike Wolff. He makes a great legal argument as to why the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 allow #VoteByMail per Missouri's constitution. https://news.stlpublicradio.org/sites/kwmu/files/AbsenteeMemo-Final-04-23-2020.pdf Michael A. Wolff is the dean emeritus of Saint Louis University School of Law and a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri. He served on the Supreme Court between 1998 and 2011, and as Chief Justice from 2005 to 2009.
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