At least for the time being, county clerks are continuing to plan for business as usual for the April 7 election.

At least for the time being, county clerks are continuing to plan for business as usual for the April 7 election.

Camden County Clerk Rowland Todd said there will be no changes to normal election procedures unless there is a mandate from Governor Mike Parson or directive from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. Todd’s comments came as counties across the state are implementing protocols to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the governor’s office has recommended no large events or meetings of more than 50 people. 

Todd said the election does present challenges. His primary concern is being able to get enough election judges in for training and to man polling places. 

The clerk’s office is running business as usual, although internally the county is asking employees to use phones and email to avoid moving around the courthouse from one office to another to decrease contact. The county has also suspended the attendance policy limiting employees to a five day absence before requiring a physician’s order. Individual officeholders have discretion to make decisions on how their departments operate at the present time. 

Late Monday afternoon, Sec. of State Jay Ashcroft issued a statement assuring Missourians the upcoming elections would be secure and safe. 

Ashcroft said these are difficult times. There is a great deal of uncertainty and understandable concern. Among those concerns are the upcoming elections that provide us all an opportunity to have a say in our government leadership.

 “I want to reassure Missouri voters that their upcoming municipal elections will be run securely and safely, and that I have an open, ongoing dialogue with your local election authorities. We have been actively planning and discussing different scenarios that may occur over the next several weeks,” Ashcroft said. 

“This is not just business as usual. We all understand the ramifications of the potential spread of COVID-19 (Wuhan coronavirus), particularly to Missourians who are over age 60 and those with conditions that make them more susceptible to severe symptoms. Your local election authorities are working very hard to ensure your right to vote is not limited, and that in-person voting is safe and secure.”