Auditor Nicole Galloway Calls on Governor Parson to Issue an Order Allowing Any Missourian to Vote Absentee Without Needing to Get Their Ballot Notarized

June 12, 2020

Columbia, Mo. — Today, Auditor Nicole Galloway called on Governor Mike Parson to end the confusion surrounding Missouri’s upcoming elections and make clear that any Missourian can vote absentee this year without having to go to a notary.

During a video press conference with former Missouri legislator and voting rights advocate Don Calloway, Auditor Galloway specifically called on Gov. Parson to issue an order that any Missouri voter can utilize the confined due to illness or at-risk of COVID-19 excuses on the absentee ballot application and vote without needing to get their ballot notarized.  With Governor Parson calling for social distancing amidst a pandemic, both excuses reasonably apply to every Missouri voter. The Missouri Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week in a case brought by the NAACP and League of Women Voters seeking to make absentee mail-in balloting available to all eligible voters in Missouri.

Watch the press conference here.

“The Governor must end the confusion surrounding our upcoming elections and make clear that any Missourian can vote absentee this year without having to go to a notary,” said Auditor Galloway. “Missouri’s notary requirement is voter suppression - especially during a pandemic. It makes voting absentee more difficult by design. That’s why the Governor should make clear that the bill he signed into law - SB 631 - can be used by any registered voter to vote absentee by mail without a notary seal.”“

The notary requirement is absolutely unacceptable. Many states are expanding access to vote by mail and early voting in response to COVID-19 — but I have not seen any state embrace a notary requirement to vote by mail. Let’s be clear: the President of the United States votes by mail and he does not need a notary,” said former Missouri State Representative and National Voter Protection Action Fund founder Don Calloway. “The Parson administration is failing in terms of addressing the challenges that COVID-19 presents to our elections. If you add these COVID-related challenges to Missouri’s longstanding history of intentional voter suppression, we are in for a calamitous election year — but we can still stop it.” 

Auditor Galloway will also discuss the need to make Missouri elections safe, fair, and accessible on a live stream with former Georgia House Democratic Leader and founder of Fair Fight Stacey Abrams at the Missouri Democratic Party’s Convention Kickoff Event this evening. 

SB 631, which Governor Parson signed earlier this month, only allows voters who can claim “confinement due to illness” or ” contracting or transmitting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus” to vote absentee without having their ballot notarized. Auditor Galloway is calling on Governor Parson to allow all voters to check those excuse boxes when they vote absentee. This order will ensure that voters do not, in the midst of a pandemic, need to spend time and resources on an in-person notary appointment.

Allowing absentee voting without a notarized ballot will also ensure that the scenes of long lines — and election chaos — seen in Wisconsin in April and Georgia this week will not be repeated. 

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