I first wrote about this particular issue and this County Clerk in Poll Challengers for party identification: republicans hate that stuff.
I received a copy of the following memo which was hand delivered this morning to Gilbert Powers, the Johnson County Clerk:
February 4, 2008
To: Gilbert Powers, Johnson County Clerk
From: Gary Grigsby, President, Johnson County Democratic Club
Re: Election Law Interpretation RSMo 115.105
After you told me on Saturday morning that we could only have 1 named Challenger for a polling location and could not substitute personnel on Election Day, I looked at the historical perspective of how RSMo 115.105 came about. I looked to the 1988 Missouri Election Laws and the 1991 Missouri Election Laws published by then Secretary of State Roy D. Blunt. I have attached a copy of the 1991 page upon which the above named section appears. From my observation the section reads the same for both years.
Additionally, I had printed RSMo Chapter 115 from the Secretary of State’s web site as it was posted in the early part of 2007. I have attached a copy of RSMo 115.105 which appeared thereon.
In the earlier 2 years, the paragraph 1 contained only 2 sentences. The last sentence of RSMo 115.105.1 reads:
“The designating chairman may substitute challengers at his discretion during such hours.”
The “during such hours” wording referred to “the hours of voting” and “each location at which absentee ballots are counted, who may be present while the ballots are being prepared for counting and counted.”
The present day statute reads slightly differently to account for the insertion of provision for “Presidential Primary Elections” which came into law after 1991. The last sentence of RSMo 115.105.1 reads:
“The designating chair may substitute challengers at his or her discretion during such hours.”
This sentence reflects the gender correction to the statute.
I request your immediate response to this in a timely manner due to the time constraints of the impending Presidential Primary Election.
The Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal covered the story in today’s front page story on the election [no link, they’re still in the 19th century].
Absentee Ballots Cast May Indicate Big Primary Turnout
By SUE STERLING
Star-Journal Staff Writer
Meanwhile, another election issue surfaced in Johnson County over the weekend.
Gary Grigsby…delivered a memo to Powers today…
Grigsby said Powers said they could not substitute challengers at the polling sites, but he said, “we’ve always been able to do that…”
Powers said he turned the memo over to Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Stoppy for a legal opinion since he is not an attorney.
Stoppy did not return phone call from the Star-Journal by press time today…
It’s always the hard way with Gilbert Powers. Nothing about elections in Johnson County should surprise anyone anymore…