Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller Looks Back On Election Day
Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller said, despite a record number of people turning out to vote Tuesday, the election went smoothly. There were some long lines at certain polling locations, which he attributes to people requesting curbside voting at those sites. But he said voters were patient. And there was some electioneering less than 25 feet from polling locations and people wearing political attire, but he said those were resolved quickly. And occasional issues with ballot scanning machines were taken care of quickly, too.
Just over 83 percent of registered voters went to the polls on Tuesday in Greene County.
"I think, clearly, the national race for president was on the minds of many voters. It's been a long year. I think people have, really, since almost, I think, January 1 have been thinking about the race for president through the presidential primary and then of course through, you know, the events that have unfolded this year," he said. "And so I think voters said, 'hey. This November I'm going to be sure that I get out there and cast my vote and be part of this conversation.'"
Hundreds of absentee or mail-in ballots received Monday and Tuesday still have to be tabulated, according to Schoeller. And around 100 provisional ballots were cast, which must be processed. Also, certain overseas voters, including members of the military have until noon on Friday to return their ballots. All of that could decide at least one close race. Democrat Betsy Fogle is leading Republican Steve Helms by 34 votes in the 135th District Missouri House race.
"Depending upon the number of votes that come in, what that final tally is, it may still be within that margin for an automatic recount or it may be that one of the candidates earns enough votes through that where it does not require an automatic recount," Schoeller said.
A race may be eligible for recount if the margin between the two candidates with the most votes is equal to or less than one-half of one percent, he said.
Schoeller is not only an election official, but he’s a member of the Republican Party. KSMU asked him what he thought about President Donald Trump’s remarks on election night. Trump declared victory even though he hadn’t received the needed 270 Electoral College votes to win.
"Certainly a candidate is going to do their best to be able to convince voters that they've won," he said. "But at the end of the day it's the voter's voice and the ballots that count. And, so, no candidate can declare victory. Those results are going to be officially certified, and if, at the end of the day those certified results, you know, are for the candidate that wins, they win. But if the candidate that's declared victory does not earn those votes after the election is certified, clearly they're not the winner."
Trump called vote counting after the election “fraud” in his speech Tuesday night and said he would take the issue to the Supreme Court.
Schoeller said any ballot received by 7 p.m. on Election Day and that is properly filled out by voters is a legal vote even if it isn’t tabulated on Election Day.
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