COVID-19 Effects On Missouri Ballot

Dear Editor:

The procedure for an Independent candidate to be put on the ballot in Missouri is unfair and, during the COVID-19 shutdown, actually prohibitive. A Democrat or Republican candidate can walk into the Secretary of State’s office, fill out some paperwork, pay their filing fee, and that’s all there is to it. However, an Independent candidate has to obtain, depending on the office sought, thousands of signatures on a petition before they can even file. During this pandemic, that is simply not possible without endangering (and justifiably angering) his/her supporters and violating the stay-at-home order. According to the Secretary of State’s office, only an act by the Missouri General Assembly can correct this. That too, presents an unsurmountable challenge because the legislature can’t meet during the pandemic either. I’m wondering if either the Secretary of State or the Governor could make a temporary change. I am writing this on behalf of a friend who would like to file as an Independent but has run into this roadblock. My friend requests this requirement be suspended for this election or that Independents be allowed to obtain “signatures” online during the pandemic and the procedure should be made more equitable. Period. Whatever our political persuasion, we all want our elections to be fair and this is simply not fair!

Sue Blesi

New Haven Independent News

405 Charles Cook Plaza

New Haven, MO 63068

(573) 237-5600