On Tuesday, election officials gathered in front of the Greene County Election Center to encourage Missouri citizens to vote ahead of the general election and to make sure they know their options.
The conference took place next to a brown and gold-striped UPS truck, full of mail-in ballots for Greene County voters. The mail-in ballots started going out to voters September 22.
There were several speakers at the event, including Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure, and Reverend Jen Simmons, a representative of Missouri Faith Voices. Each speaker commemorated the centennial of women’s suffrage, and all stressed the importance of voting in the November election.
Jay Ashcroft encouraged Greene County voters to go to the polls in person if they can, to make sure their ballots are filled out correctly and are counted on time. He also explained how absentee and mail-in voting works. That information can also be found online at the Secretary of State’s website.
When KSMU asked if his office would require masks and personal protective equipment to be worn by poll workers and voters, Ashcroft said the state provides masks and sanitizer but can’t force anyone to wear a face covering.
“The Secretary of State’s office does not have the authority to implement any sort of statewide mask order,” he said.
Shane Schoeller said even in Springfield, where there is a mask ordinance, voters not wearing a mask will still be allowed to vote.
“We have to remember the right to vote supersedes a mask,” Schoeller told KSMU.
The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is October 28, but Ashcroft and Schoeller encouraged voters to request a ballot as soon as possible.