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Missouri election officials say new maps needed before candidate filing deadline

Closeup of voter registration identification card
JJ Gouin - stock.adobe.com

Not all of Missouri's new voting-district maps are finalized, despite a candidate filing deadline of March 29.

The new state House maps were filed with the Secretary of State in January, and state Senate maps have been proposed by the judicial commission charged with drawing them after the politician commission deadlocked. The congressional map is held up in the Legislature.

Election supervisor in Cape Girardeau County Allen Seabaugh said it's
important to get those maps done so anyone who's interested in running
for office knows what district they live in.

"It's also important," said Seabaugh, "because we want to get changes made to our voter-registration system so that all voters are assigned to the correct districts so that whenever they go to vote on Aug. 2, we know which ballot to give them in correlation to where they live."

Missouri is one of just a handful of states that have not yet passed the congressional map. The state House passed a map in January, but it's stalled in the Senate, with some GOP lawmakers saying it makes it likely two out of eight seats will be filled by Democrats, which they claim is too many.

Two lawsuits have been filed asking courts to intervene.

Seabaugh added that in Cape Girardeau County, they will send voters a postcard letting them know their new districts so they can research the
candidates who are running.

He said while calibrating which voters are in which new districts is a complicated process, they work with Geographic Information System (GIS)
mapping professionals to make sure everything gets programmed and tied

"There's a lot of checks and balances there to ensure that that's accurate," said Seabaugh. "And we also train our election judges to give out the correct ballot for the issues they're supposed to be voting on and for the candidates that they're supposed to be voting on."

Missouri's primary election is on August 2, and the general election is November 8.

Launched in 2008, the Missouri News Service (MONS) is part of a network of independent public interest state-based news services pioneered by Public News Service. Our mission is an informed and engaged citizenry making educated decisions in service to democracy; and our role is to inform, inspire, excite and sometimes reassure people in a constantly changing environment through reporting spans political, geographic and technical divides.

Phone: 888-891-9416 | Email: info@publicnewsservice.org
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