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1,200 absentee ballots missing in Pettis County, county clerk says

Problems with mail-in balloting are hitting close to home. The county clerk in Pettis County, which includes Sedalia, said 1,200 absentee ballots that were supposed to arrive on September 21 are still missing.

The ballots were last known to have been delivered to the Sedalia Post Office.

Nicholas La Strada said his office was bombarded with phone calls from voters last week, asking where their absentee ballot was and if they had been mailed. He said his office staff worked until midnight Saturday to reprocess 1,200 ballots, and those were delivered to the post office on Tuesday.

“My staff worked almost to 12 o’clock restuffing these ballots, because we knew that they’re not going to find these ballots,” he said. “I’m not bashing the post office, but the post office needs to find our ballots.”

READ: What you need to know about mail-in ballots

La Strada emphasized that his office will not disenfranchise the rights of Pettis County voters. He also said that if a voter receives a second ballot, his office and Missouri’s centralized voter registration system will only allow them to receive the first ballot submitted. If a second ballot is returned, it will be rejected.

La Strada is telling Pettis County residents that he will make sure their votes count in November. He joined veteran morning show host Charlie Thomas in-studio at KDRO in Sedalia. The radio station has also received numerous calls from listeners, asking where the ballot is.

READ: Most states not prepared to handle mail-in ballots

“I’ve always had confidence in the post office,” La Strada said. ” I’ve been doing this business for ten years, we’ve never had this issue. Are they going to find these ballots? I hope they do.”

He said once the ballots were delivered to the Sedalia post office, they are the liability of the federal agency. The Missouri Secretary of State’s office said it is not aware of this happening in any other county.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice