Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has opened an investigation into a St. Charles County polling place closure that may have changed the results of this month’s primary election. The doors to the polling location at 2 Dunmore Circle in O’Fallon, the Monticello Clubhouse remained locked for 90 minutes past opening time.
“It is unacceptable that precinct voters were turned away, possibly changing the outcome of an election,” Ashcroft says in a press release. “We plan to talk to local officials, disenfranchised voters, the owners of the facility who leased the building to the county, and others. This cannot happen again. Voters deserve to be able to open the door when they show up to cast their ballot.”
State law provides the Secretary of State the authority to investigate elections. On election day, the Secretary of State’s office received comments through social media and telephone about the polling site being locked.
The office contacted the county election office, which confirmed the doors were locked and malfunctioning due to a lightning strike. Later, the Secretary’s office was told instead that the building owner had changed the locks and the election judges did not have the correct key to enter the building.
Unofficial vote tallies in the Republican and Democrat primaries to represent House District 102 were within one-half of one percent (.05) – close enough for any of the four candidates to request a recount. Out of a total of 7,699 votes cast, just four votes separated the Republicans and 15 votes separated the Democrats.
Ashcroft urges voters who were not able to vote that day due to the polling place being locked to report the incident to the elections division at 800-669-8683.
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