ST. LOUIS – The biggest takeaway from Tuesday’s presidential debate is the reminder to vote. But the lingering question is the integrity behind the election process.
“If it’s a fair election I am 100 percent on board, but if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that,” President Donald Trump said when asked if he would accept the election results.
“It’s honest. No one has established at all that there’s fraud related to mail-in ballots,” former Vice President Joe Biden said in response.
Trump and Biden have different opinions on Americans utilizing mail-in and absentee ballots but that’s not stopping millions from already stepping up to the polls.
“Between today and last Tuesday, there’s never been a period during business hours when there hasn’t been someone in our building voting,” said Ben Borgmeyer, the Democratic director for St. Louis City Board of Elections.
Absentee voting began last week. Borgmeyer says lines have been wrapped around the election board’s office.
“We’ve been seeing daily turnout for in-person absentee voting with around 300 a day,” Borgmeyer said.
While hundreds are showing up in-person for absentee voting, there’s just as many requesting mail-in ballots as well.
That’s why now to make sure St. Louis city voters know their vote is counted, each mail-in ballot will come with a tracking number that can be entered in an online tracker that’ll alert voters when their ballot has been received and counted.
“It’s really simple. It’s like tracking a package from UPS,” Borgmeyer said.
Borgmeyer’s Republican counterpart on the board of elections, Gary Scotf, says voters can rest assured there’s no funny business going on with their votes and everything is being done in a bi-partisan way.
“This tool, I think, will give them that piece of mind that my ballot was delivered and every ballot received on-time will absolutely be counted,” Gary Scotf said.
Both directors are making it crystal clear. If you do plan on mail-in voting, your ballot must be received by November 3 at 7 p.m., regardless of the postmark on the mail.
With so much at stake this election year, it’s an all-hands-on deck effort making sure integrity isn’t lost.
“The whole thing is about accountability and that’s what we emphasis here,” Borgmeyer said.
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