JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – More than two million registered voters cast a ballot in the general election, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office said.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft praised voters, poll workers, and local election authorities for a
“…I want to thank the people of Missouri who made their voices heard,” Ashcroft said in a statement. “Missouri can’t have safe, accurate and accessible elections without voters.”
Unofficial election results can be viewed at enr.sos.mo.gov. Local election authorities must certify their results and send them to the Secretary of State’s Office by Tuesday, Nov. 22. Ashcroft will then convene the board of canvassers (comprised of the secretary and a panel of judges) and certify the results statewide by Tuesday, Dec. 13.
This was the first statewide election since HB 1878 was signed into law, amending current laws by requiring voters to provide a valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot (or cast a provisional ballot without an ID).
The state also allowed two weeks of no-excuse in-person absentee voting and continued used of vote-by-mail.
Ashcroft said they won’t know the full effect of absentee voting under the new rules until the state experiences a few more elections. The secretary said he’s interested in seeing if more people voted absentee by mail or by in-person.
According to the secretary, a bipartisan team sorts the mail-in ballots and validates the information on the outside of each envelope, but they are not counted until 6 a.m. on election day. In-person absentee votes are counted in-the-moment by the voting machines themselves, but those numbers are not accessed until the polls close. This is done to prevent any chance of early voter numbers from becoming public and possibly affecting turnout.
Ashcroft said he is personally not a fan of early voting, likening it to a jury deciding a case after only hearing from the prosecution. The secretary believes early voting favors incumbents and that people may not have complete information when making a decision that they could have on election day itself.
Preliminary data shows approximately 51% of eligible Missouri voters went to the polls in the 2022 midterm election. That’s down from 56% in the 2018 midterms. The 2020 presidential election saw a Missouri voter turnout of 70%, Ashcroft said, bolstered by people voting by mail due to the pandemic.