Legislature Offers Voters an Early Voting Ballot Measure

By Missourinet

Published 05/15 2014 11:57AM

Updated 05/15 2014 12:04PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The state legislature has sent voters a proposal to allow six business days of early voting before general elections. The proposal cleared the House on Wednesday, a day after it was approved in the Senate.

The proposal would change the Missouri Constitution to allow voters to mail in ballots or vote in-person during business hours. Early voting would end on the Wednesday before the election.

Democrats in the House say the proposal is a “sham,” and say it is only meant to distract voters in November from a less restricted form of early voting outlined in an initiative petition that is pending with the Secretary of State. Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) has offered similar criticism.

The plan would not require local election authorities to offer early voting if no money is included in the annual state operating budget to reimburse them for it. Democrats are also critical of that provision, saying it allows future legislatures to block early voting by denying such an appropriation.

Republicans defend the plan as a legitimate early voting proposal that would not put a financial burden on local election authorities.

(Mike Lear, Missourinet)

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