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Secretary Of State Ashcroft Encourages Voters To Trust Local Officials

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft met with local election officials and the media at a stop Thursday in Rolla
Jonathan Ahl
St. Louis Public Radio
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft met with local election officials and the media at a stop Thursday in Rolla.

ROLLA — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is encouraging voters to ignore national stories and trust their local election officials.

On the same day President Donald Trump again claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to fraud and questionable election results, the fellow Republican was traveling around Missouri advocating a safe process.

“What local election authorities have done and continue to do is run nonpartisan administration of elections. When it comes right down to it, elections are local,” Ashcroft said on Thursday while meeting with election officials in Phelps County.

“I had some unhappiness with the national post office sending out a letter telling people that their election mail would be taken care of in six or seven days,” Ashcroft said. “Local Postal Service employees have been doing a good job of helping us.”

Quickly delivered absentee ballots in Rolla seem to be supporting that assertion.

“We mailed our absentee ballots out on Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, voters who received those ballots were already bringing them in to the office to cast them,” said Pam Grow, the Phelps County clerk. “It’s working well already.”

Ashcroft also said he wants to make sure people understand the difference between mail-in ballots, which must be mailed, and absentee ballots. Every household with a registered voter will get a mailer from the Secretary of State with the differences. Details are also available at movote.org, and Ashcroft said voters can always call their local election office.

In addition to those options, Ashcroft said voting in person on Nov. 3 will be safe. Every county has received masks for poll workers and hand sanitizer. They also have moved to bigger rooms and spread out.

“This will be the safest election we’ve ever had,” Ashcroft said. “If you’re registered, you can vote. Don’t let anybody stop you, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Don’t let anyone scare you about that. If you’re not registered, you can still get registered the first week of October.”

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @JonathanAhl

Jonathan Ahl is the Newscast Editor and Rolla correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.