Early Voting Measure Goes to Missouri Voters in November

Post Dispatch :

JEFFERSON CITY • A measure to allow six business days of early voting per election in Missouri will appear on the November ballot.

The Missouri House approved the plan on Wednesday, a day after the Senate passed it. The measure has been criticized by Democrats as “sham early voting” meant to supersede a broader proposal that backers are trying to place on the ballot through a petition drive. That measure would mandate six weeks of early voting, including weekends. Backers submitted signatures to the Secretary of State on May 4 and are awaiting word on whether it, too, will be on the November ballot.

If approved by voters, the constitutional amendment passed by the Legislature allows for voting for six days by mail or in-person during regular business hours. Weekends are specifically excluded, and the early voting period ends on the Wednesday before the election.

Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, sponsored the measure. He said it provided for early voting in a way that would not place an undue burden on local election authorities.

The Legislature’s amendment would rely on the state’s appropriation process to allocate funds to compensate local election offices for early voting costs. The Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities had pushed for full state funding, citing the high potential costs that could be incurred.

Lara Granich, director of Missouri Jobs with Justice, which supported the petition effort, said the legislative proposal would not help people who were unable to get to the polls during the workday.


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