More than 70 Buchanan County voters still have ballots with incorrect language, and their votes may not count if a corrected version is not submitted.
According to an official in the Buchanan County clerk’s office, approximately 72 ballots remain outstanding.
“I mean, we’re down to a minimum balance that we need to deal with, and we still have time to deal with them,” Mary Baack-Garvey, the Buchanan County clerk, said. “And we do plan on making phone calls to those that have not returned their new ballots, and we plan to get that in play by Friday.”
Baack-Garvey previously told News-Press NOW that a mistake by her office resulted in some 1,700 ballots for the upcoming general election being distributed with the incorrect language for Amendment 3. New language was ordered by an appeals court after it found the old language to be misleading.
If Amendment 3 passes, a board appointed by the governor would draw legislative districts instead of a nonpartisan official Missouri voters approved in a ballot initiative in 2018. The language in the incorrect ballots said a “citizen lead” commission would draw the districts using a host of factors,
including minority voter protection.
The error impacted those who requested any form of a mailed ballot and those who voted early in person on the first day of absentee voting. Only two incorrect ballots remain from those who voted in person, Baack-Garvey said.
Two days after the initial mistake, corrected ballots were issued by the clerk’s office. It’s unclear what would happen if a voter doesn’t return a corrected ballot, and those votes could go uncounted.
Some suggested a political motive behind the mistake, as Baack-Garvey is a Republican officeholder. Baack-Garvey has denied any political influence.
“We all know Amendment 3 was designed to trick voters,” Dr. Jane Frick, a St. Joseph voter, said in a news release published by Clean Missouri, an organization advocating for the defeat of Amendment 3. “But two courts have ruled that the politicians behind this scheme broke the law with their lies. Voters need to look into the fine print, and send a message to the politicians trying to trick us by voting no on Amendment 3.”
Wednesday, Oct. 21, is the final day to request an absentee ballot, and election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.