Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller announces run for Missouri secretary of state
Correction: Shane Schoeller was elected Greene County Clerk in 2014.
Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller is running for the office of Missouri secretary of state. He made the announcement at Lincoln Days Friday at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield.
Schoeller said his experience as county clerk — an office he’s held for nearly nine years — will serve him well if he’s elected to statewide office.
When Schoeller ran for the county office in 2014, he said the main issue Republicans were concerned about was voter I.D. Now there are a lot more issues on the table.
“We want to be sure we restore that trust that some people have lost in terms of the integrity of the elections. Not all people but some,” he said.
One of the issues he’s passionate about is making sure there are bipartisan election judges at all polling locations and a process for dealing with any challenges by voters -- as there is in Greene County.
“I think that’s the part a lot of voters don’t understand,” said Schoeller, “that there’s a really intense process to make sure whenever there’s a question on Election Day that we make sure that we understand what happened, and if there was true fraud that occurred, we want to make sure and take that to the sheriff, have him investigate, and the prosecutor.”
Schoeller also wants to be sure all election processes are transparent.
He pointed to a recount in 2020 for a state legislative race in Greene County. In that race, Democrat Betsy Fogle got 8,548 votes, which was 48.21 percent. Republican Steve Helms got 8,468 votes, or 47.76 percent. Green Party candidate Vicke Kepling got 694 votes, which was 3.91 percent. And write-in candidates made up for the remaining 0.12 percent of the votes cast, according to a previous KSMU news report. The narrow margin of victory was enough to trigger an automatic recount.
“I went forward and made sure everyone understood what we were doing – everyone had access to that,” he said of the recount process. “And that’s what brings confidence.”
Schoeller is a big proponent of in-person voting, but he supported efforts by the state legislature in 2020 to allow expanded mail-in voting for the November election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, because of the legislation that was passed, voters who might have stayed home and not cast a vote because they were worried about their health, were able to have their voices heard.
“We had a record turnout (in November, 2020) here in our county and across the state, and so, it worked very well,” he said. “But I think, long term, we can continue to let people vote in person, limit the voting by mail.”
He said he’s made it easier for people to cast ballots in person by expanding absentee voting beyond the Greene County Courthouse to the Elections Center. And he said he fought for the right for people to be able to cast a ballot during a two week period prior to the election without having to give a reason for doing so.
All his experience in the county, he said, he wants to take to Jefferson City.
“I want to be able to take what we’ve done here in Greene County and continue to do that at the state level,” Schoeller said, “and help election officials and voters understand the process because it’s all about election transparency.”