Southwest Missouri’s Greene County is among the growing number of counties that have purchased pens for each voter in their county for Tuesday, due to COVID reasons.

Lincoln County Clerk Crystal Hall, the Missouri Association of County Clerks president, tells Missourinet that dozens of Missouri counties have purchased pens for their voters on Tuesday. The reason is so each voter has their own voting pen that no one else has touched on Tuesday.

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, a former Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem, says his office has purchased 150,000 pens. Greene County, which includes Springfield, is one of the largest counties in the state.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office distributed $4.5 million this year to local election authorities, to provide funding for them to meet their jurisdiction’s individual needs. Greene and Lincoln counties used some of their funding for the pens. Other counties have used their funds for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), due to COVID.

Secretary Ashcroft and his staff have delivered about 17,000 face masks, 17,000 face shields and 500 gallons of sanitizer to clerks across the state.

The Secretary of State’s office says more than 628,000 mail-in and absentee ballots have been returned to local election authorities, as of Tuesday.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, which is Tuesday.

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