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Election officials raise concerns about preparing for August primaries with no final congressional map

Watch a live stream replay after the Missouri Senate passes redistricting map 22-11.

UPDATE: The Senate approved the map late Thursday.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Time is running out for county clerks to prepare for the August primary elections as Missouri still has no finalized congressional map.

The deadline for county clerks to start making August primary election ballots is May 24. Military ballots have to be sent out on June 17 and absentee ballots go out on June 21. Election officials are concerned about getting ballots ready properly if they have to change voting districts due to new congressional lines.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, the highest election official in the state, said it may be too late to avoid errors. Ashcroft said if the legislature does not have a map done by the time they adjourn for the year on Friday at 6 p.m., the old map, made 10 years ago, will be used for the August primary election.

"If the legislature were to pass a map tomorrow and the governor was to sign it, it would really only give our clerks maybe six days, seven days to get that all done," Ashcroft said.

Ashcroft said the state courts don't have the authority to redraw maps, and the federal courts have been told by the United States Supreme Court not to redraw a map this close to primary elections.

Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon says her main concern is uncertainty. Lennon and her staff have to make all of the adjustments manually for every voter in the county.

"Every time we have a different district line in Boone County, we have to layer it on top of all of our other districts to see if it creates any new splits in our precincts," Lennon said.

Lennon said any uncertainty during the election process raises concerns about the integrity of the election.

"At this point in time, building out the address library with the redistricting lines that we have is like building a house without having the benefit of inspections along the way," Lennon said.

Watch Conservative caucus speaks after senate wraps 5/12/22

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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