The state House now has a task force that will investigate what went wrong in municipal elections Tuesday in St. Louis County. This is in addition to the House Committee on Urban Issues, which also was in the process of investigating why more than 60 precincts in St. Louis County received incorrect ballots or received too few ballots from the county’s Board of Elections.
House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) wants the Task Force to find out what went wrong.
“What I’ve asked them to do is start a process of kind of collecting some information and we’ll see whether the task force is sufficient to get the answers that we think we need, and if not I’ll consider appointing a full-blown special committee to look at it,” said Richardson.
He wants answers found early enough that any changes necessary can be implemented before the August primary.
“The stakes were very high this past Tuesday. They’re going to be even higher in August and November and I think the people in Missouri deserve their election system to run a little better than it did in the St. Louis area on Tuesday night,” said Richardson.
The Task Force will be chaired by Representative Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin), who plans on it working in conjunction with the Urban Issues committee, chaired by Representative Courtney Curtis (D-Ferguson).
“He was already in the works of doing a hearing bringing in the St. Louis County Directors,” said Dogan. “I’m also going to invite Secretary of State (Jason) Kander (D) to come and testify … I saw Secretary of State Kander saying it’s St. Louis County’s fault, St. Louis County said it’s the state’s fault, so we need to get them both in the room and figure out what happened in which place.”
Dogan describes the issues Tuesday as, “clearly a failure to plan properly for an election that they knew was coming up on the heels of the March presidential primary.”
He said the Task Force is tentatively scheduled to meet Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. in the State Capitol.