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Lawmakers upset with Primary ballot shortage

KRCG has confirmed that Republican voters in least 2 Mid-Missouri counties were turned away at the polls on election night because of a shortage of ballots. KRCG Photo.

KRCG has confirmed that Republican voters in least 2 Mid-Missouri counties were turned away at the polls on election night because of a shortage of ballots.

Election judges at 3 of Miller County's 12 precincts ran out of Republican ballots during the Presidential Primary because of a large voter turnout. County Clerk Clinton Jenkins substituted copies for real ballots. The voting machines read some of the copies and Election Judges hand counted copied ballots that would not scan.

Jenkins said, "We have tally sheets. We have records. Nothing under the table happened. We did it the way we could do it."

It was a similar situation in Osage County where County Clerk Patrick Steele ordered Republican ballots based on the 2 previous Missouri Presidential Primaries with low voter turnout. Steele ordered enough paper ballots for a 25% turnout this year and it wasn't enough. Missouri lawmakers from both parties are upset over the Presidential Primary ballot mess.

Democrat Representative John Rizzo of Kansas City said, "When people actually go out of their way to do that and find out that they can't because there's not enough ballots or whatever, that's something that everybody needs to work on."

Republican Representative Travis Fitzwater of Holts Summit said, "It's disappointing to hear that people didn't have the chance to vote or had to do a provisional ballot because there weren't enough ballots available. That needs to be fixed."

Secretary of State Jason Kander denied our request for an interview. Kander's Communication Director sent KRCG a statement that left us with many questions that read, "Our office received a call from one voter in Osage County about a polling location running out of Republican ballots. We immediately reached out to the local election authority to help ensure this doesn't happen again. We received reports from media that other counties had also run out of ballots. We learned that additional or electronic ballots were made available to voters at those polling sites."

Kander has Missouri Election Integrity Unit that promises every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot.

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