Couple fears absentee voting is compromising their safety

ST. LOUIS - A Sappington couple says carrying out their civic duty is compromising their security.

They contacted Five on Your Side to find out why they have to give up so much to cast their vote and what can be done about it.

It gives David and Joyce Payne great pleasure sharing their backyard pool with their grandkids and others.

"We had a group over last night of about 8, we had 20 something over last Sunday," said David.

But they don't like sharing their personal information with strangers.

"All the experts are telling us to never give out any information that could inform an unscrupulous person that you're not going to be home or to divulge your personal signature or anything about your personal life," said David.

That's exactly what the Paynes said they had to do to vote. They're not able to do it person in Tuesday's election, so they requested absentee ballots.

On the back of the return envelope is a form requiring the voter's signature, address and reason for absentee voting.

"It just seems like this envelope is asking for fraud by the time it goes through heaven knows how many hands, the U.S. Mail and in the office before it gets to the people who process them," said Joyce.

A blueprint, they believe, for a security breach.

"This address probably won't have anybody at it on this particular day and of course if they wanted to apply for fraudulent credit cards or whatnot they have an address, they have a signature," said Joyce.

"I've been here a little over three years and I have not had that concern expressed to me," said Rita Days, St. Louis County's Director of Elections.

Still, she says she understands their concerns. Days goes on to say the process is dictated by state law, even down to the envelope.

"What we will do at this particular point is contact the secretary of state's office to see if there's some modification that can be made, let them know that we have had a concern on that," said Days.

"I appreciate you guys exposing this information or making it more well-known and maybe now somebody will look into it and do something," said David.

Five on Your Side's Mike Rush contacted the secretary of state's office as well, who confirmed the local election authority must comply with the law.

The elections director says concerned voters can drop off their absentee ballots or put the envelope in another envelope and mail it.


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