JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Presidential Preference Primary is Tuesday, March 10, and other parts of the country saw some major problems with long lines during Super Tuesday, March 3.
Missouri’s Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R-Missouri) says his office is continuously preparing for the next election and some responsibilities fall on local election authorities.
The threat of an outside force disrupting elections is a threat the secretary of state takes seriously.
“We actually paid for white hat hackers teams to go in and attack county election authorities boards of election both from a physical standpoint and from a cyber standpoint and say how can you try to breach their defenses, give us a report from top to bottom their policies, their procedures their network, their hardware, their personnel,” Ashcroft said.
Ashcroft says federal funding from the helping American vote act has also been used to help local election authorities.
“That they can use to increase the security at their systems and then we are providing overwatch capabilities where we have third-parties that are watching those networks and those systems for them to continue to help them know that they have certainty so that’s the biggest thing we’ve been doing over the last year,” Ashcroft said.
Long lines in places such as parts of California and texas created a mess on Super Tuesday and led to accusations of voter suppression. Ashcroft says when it comes to being prepared for long lines, there are some responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of local election authorities.
“When it comes down to how many polling places there are where those polling places are how many places you can actually fill out your ballot at the polling place that’s up to the local election authority,” Ashcroft said.
When asked what’s being done on the state level to reduce the chances of long lines, the secretary of state says his office has been taking steps to verify voter information so there are fewer delays at polling places.
“We’ve been working with election authorities to clean up our voter records so that when you get there you’re less likely to say or we have your address wrong we need to change that we need to get that taken care of,” Ashcroft said.
Ashcroft hopes anyone who has questions our concerns will contact the secretary of state’s office.
Some local election officials estimate turnout could be less than 50%.