The Secretary of State's Office will conduct a thorough review of absentee ballots cast in some cities in the upcoming Municipal Primary Election. This review comes on the heels of several complaints from municipal clerks, elected officials, and citizens regarding a high number of absentee ballots cast thus far in the primary.
"A high number of absentee ballots cast this early in the primary causes concern for our Municipal Clerks and our Agency and may lead our citizens to question the integrity of their election," says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
The Secretary of State's Office has also received complaints from some municipal clerks stating some individuals have allegedly been solicited to cast an absentee ballot.
Therefore, in areas where the Secretary of State's Office has been contacted by a municipal clerk, or where there are a high number of absentee ballots cast, our Agency will conduct a thorough review of absentee ballot applications and envelopes to determine if correct balloting procedures were administered.
"Where we suspect there is a possibility for voter fraud, we will be watching," says Secretary Hosemann. "Anyone attempting to commit voter fraud, or any instance where we believe voter fraud is committed, will be reported immediately to the Attorney General and local District Attorney."
Absentee ballots are generally cast by voters who are disabled, age 65 or older, or absent from the city on Election Day. Penalties for violating the absentee voter laws are fines up to $5000 and five years in the State Penitentiary.
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