JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft told KRCG 13 he does not anticipate any severe problems ahead of primary elections on Tuesday.
"I think it's going to go smoothly," Secretary Ashcroft said. "We have 116 local election authorities across the state that have been working on this election for months. I know our office, for months, has been trying to think about what could possibly go wrong and how we would rectify it."
Ashcroft predicted most polls would have preliminary results in by Tuesday night. Any winner declared that night, though, he clarified, would be the "unofficial" victor until the state certifies that result.
"I think it's probably going to be 30-35% [voter turnout]," he said. "Sadly, we're expecting anywhere from 70-65% of the people that can vote not voting. And Abraham Lincoln talked about a country of the people by the people and for the people, and you cannot have that without we the people being involved in politics and election. And I would urge the people of this state prove me wrong."
According to exclusive polling obtained by KRCG 13 from SurveyUSA, some 35% of Republicans say they have little or no confidence in the vote-counting process ahead of the primaries, as opposed to just 12% of Democrats. Secretary Ashcroft chocked most of that to politics as usual, saying he felt the numbers would have been reversed following the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
"Unfortunately, there's a lot of partisanship involved in that," Ashcroft said. "My job is not to worry about partisanship, that's for campaigns. My job is to worry about the administration and to do it well."