VICTORY! Greene County Circuit Court Enters Consent Judgment Securing Transparency in Missouri Elections

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Free and Fair Elections, Government Transparency, Press Releases
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                          CONTACT:     Dave Roland

January 25, 2024                                                                                                        (314) 604-6621

Springfield, Missouri— Greene County Circuit Judge Joshua Christensen announced today that he would approve a consent judgment worked out between Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller and Springfield resident Laurie Huddleston under which the Clerk’s Office would produce the cast vote record from the 2020 general election. The judgment states that cast vote records are open public records under Missouri’s Sunshine Law and they may be produced to citizens as long as doing so would not compromise the secrecy of individual voters’ ballots.

In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, many citizens were concerned about the possibility that election fraud influenced the outcome. Some determined to learn as much as they could about how the election was conducted by reviewing “cast vote records,” which comprise a body of data gathered as electronic voting machines scan voters’ ballots. Election officials typically use this data to tabulate election results and also to audit elections by comparing paper records of voters’ selections against the cast vote records. Huddleston asked the Clerk’s Office to produce these records because, like many voters, she was not content to take at face value election officials’ statements about the legitimacy of the 2020 election’s outcome – she wanted citizens to be able to review the cast vote records for themselves.

“At a time when so many question election officials’ claims that elections were fairly conducted, it is absolutely crucial for citizens to be able to check their work by reviewing these sorts of public records,” explained Dave Roland, the director of litigation for the Freedom Center of Missouri, which represented Huddleston in this case. “As Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, ‘Trust, but verify.’”

A longstanding advocate of government transparency, Schoeller wanted to produce the records to Huddleston, but was not certain that Missouri law would allow him to do so.

“It is a serious offense under Missouri law to reveal how any individual voter may have voted,” Schoeller said. “The Sunshine Law that ensures transparency and accountability in government allows elected officials, when the law is unclear or statutes may conflict, to seek clarity through the courts. We needed that clarity in this situation, which is why we filed the case.”

“Although litigation is frequently contentious, this was a situation where both sides were working hard to ensure that Missouri’s laws were being understood and applied correctly while still ensuring the secrecy of individual voters’ choices,” Roland emphasized. “I especially want to thank Mr. Schoeller for the commitment to election transparency he has shown in agreeing to today’s judgment.”

Huddleston enthusiastically welcomed news of the judgment, saying, “Ensuring the validity of our elections is a sacred responsibility and I am thrilled that today’s news means that people like me will be able to help keep our elections transparent and accountable.”

The judgment states that within forty-five days the Clerk’s Office will produce the cast vote records in the form of a Microsoft Excel document. The parties agreed to a very limited set of redactions that both sides agreed were needed to ensure that none of the data could be linked to any individual voter. As anticipated by the Sunshine Law, the Clerk’s office also agreed to pay Huddleston’s attorney fees associated with this case.

Founded in November 2010, the Freedom Center of Missouri is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to research, litigation, and education in defense of individual liberty and transparent, accountable, constitutionally limited government. The Freedom Center is one of Missouri’s leading legal advocates for government transparency; this is the Freedom Center’s twelfth Sunshine Law case.  Additional information about the Freedom Center’s mission, cases, and activities can be found online at

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[NOTE:  To arrange interviews on this subject, journalists may call Dave Roland at (314) 604-6621.]