Elections

Missouri GOP sent 10,000 voters false absentee voting information

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Is your voter registration up-to-date? Even if you voted before, from time to time, states and local election offices purge their voter registration lists. They delete people who have moved or who haven’t voted in a long time.

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.

Ray Bozarth said the incorrect information was printed on postcards as the result of a miscommunication between the party and its vendor, which he declined to name. Bozarth also did not say how the miscommunication occurred.

A photo of the mailer provided to the Star shows a red bar across the top that says “urgent notice” in all capital letters and encourages voters to return their mail-in ballots “today.”

It also says, ballots must be returned by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, which is not the case. Ballots are due on election day, Nov. 6, and requests for mail-in ballots aren’t due until Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Bozarth said the ballots were sent to likely Republican voters as part of the party’s get-out-the-vote efforts and that they would receive new mailers with corrected information “very soon.”

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A mailer paid for by the Missouri Republican Party gives incorrect information about when absentee ballots are due. Handout

“Those folks are going to get mailers with the correct information,” Bozarth said.

Voters who receive mailers and believe incorrectly that the deadline to vote absentee has passed could miss out on the opportunity.

Asked if he was concerned some voters might not vote as a result of the confusion, he said he was “very confident in the Missouri Republican Party’s get-out-the-vote effort.”

Bozarth said the party had made Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office aware of the mistake. He said the party had heard from “maybe one or two people.” He said the party, in turn, directed them to information on the secretary of state’s website and a voter turnout webpage run by the Republican National Committee.

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