Missouri voters, election workers applauded for their patience

Missouri voters, election workers applauded for their patience
By: 
Mary Schuermann Kuhlman
Correspondent

Despite a pandemic and one of the most contentious presidential races on record, the 2020 general election in Missouri went off without a hitch.

President of the League of Women Voters of Missouri Evelyn Maddox said they had members on the ground at poll sites around the state to assist if problems arose.

"We've had no reports of intimidation or interference with voting," said Maddox. "And, generally speaking, voters and poll workers alike were patient with whatever conditions existed."

Maddox said most lines never exceeded more than 90 minutes, and often there was no wait to vote. In Audrain County wait times were much shorter, often no more than 10 minutes during the busier times.

“In a community like this people are willing to be patient,” said Alice Leonatti, Voting Services Chair of the league’s Audrain County chapter. “Our clerk’s office does an amazing job of running an efficient operation.”

As in the rest of the state, ballots were cast without any major problems or interference in the county’s 16 precincts.

“Everything I heard was things were smooth,” Leonatti said.

More than three million Missourians voted Tuesday, the highest-ever number of ballots cast. Turnout was 70 percent of registered voters.

Maddox noted that the expansion of mail-in voting for the 2020 elections was a welcome move during the pandemic, but says there was some confusion over which voters needed their ballot notarized before submittal.

"The Legislature's conflating mail-in ballots with absentee ballots during this COVID period was very unfortunate," said Maddox. "Voters were confused about how to use the mail-in ballot."

She added that the League will continue to promote election reforms that will make it easier to register to vote and cast a ballot. Those include automatic voter registration when applying for a driver's license, and same-day voter registration.

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