Some 10,000 voters in Missouri received mailers with incorrect information about the dates for their absentee ballots were due. The source? The Missouri Republican Party.
Ray Bozarth, the party’s executive director, admitted that his party was responsible for the misleading information but insisted the incorrect date was caused not by malice or an effort at voter suppression.
It was, he said, simply “the result of a miscommunication between the party and its vendor, which he declined to name,” as the Kansas City Star reported.
“Bozarth also did not say how the miscommunication occurred,” the daily added.
The Star obtained a photo of the mailer, which bears a bright red bar and the words “URGENT NOTICE” emblazoned in all-caps, urging voters to get their mail-in ballots sent “today.”
It also says, ballots must be returned by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, which is not the case. Ballots are due on election day, Nov. 6, and requests for mail-in ballots aren’t due until Wednesday, Oct. 31.
According to The Star, Bozarth believes the ballots were sent to “likely Republican voters” as part of a get-out-the-vote effort. These voters should expect to receive correct information “very soon.”
Asked if he was concerned some voters might not vote as a result of the confusion, he said he was “very confident in the Missouri Republican Party’s get-out-the-vote effort.”
The error-ridden mass mailing comes amid numerous reported cases of incorrect or sometimes misleading information being distributed to voters across the United States — as well as outright efforts to suppress votes in some areas — ahead of next month’s narrowly-contested midterm election for control of Congress.
One of the hardest-fought races pits the state’s incumbent US Senator Claire McCaskill against Republican challenger Josh Hawley, the state attorney general for Missouri.