Board of elections officials face lawmakers over ballot shortage - KMOV.com

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Board of elections officials face lawmakers over ballot shortage

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Hearing in Jefferson City over April 5 debacle at the polls in St. Louis County (Credit: KMOV) Hearing in Jefferson City over April 5 debacle at the polls in St. Louis County (Credit: KMOV)
(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Lawmakers grilled the director of the St. Louis County of Elections as to why thousands of voters were turned away from the polls last week.

St. Louis County Election Directors Eric Fey and Gary Fuhr were called to the hearing to explain how the ballot mix-up happened.

“We ordered 300,000 paper ballots for this [April 5] election and as embarrassing at it may be to admit this in total, we had an extremely large number of ballots. They were allocated to the incorrect ballot style,” said Fey.

Fey said in February there were two last minute adds from villages in the county. When his team added those villages into the system, the ballot styles changed along with the order of the ballots.

According to Fey, his team did not go through the proper proofing process to ensure all ballot styles for each municipally were accounted for, which he said is the root of the “perfect storm.”

Since the county had a presidential primary weeks before the April 5 elections there was not enough time to get touch screens ready so paper ballots were the only option, Fey said.

“We knew between the two elections March 15 and April 5, our employees would be pulled in many different directions, deploying fewer pieces of equipment in April logistically would be a wiser decision,” he said.

Some lawmakers think Fey should resign due to the debacle.

“He should offer his resignation just to set a high bar for accountability and to allow for the county to move forward and put this debacle behind us,” said Ferguson representative Courtney Curtis.

Fey said, “My plan moving forward is to continue to put adequate controls in place and get this right moving forward. That is what my plan is.”

But, others do not feel it is a good idea to change course because major elections will be voted on starting in August.

There will be a hearing beginning on the third week of April for voters to talk to lawmakers.

If you are a voter and were turned away from the polls, you can log on here and fill in your testimony.

You can stay updated on this story by downloading the KMOV News app.

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