Daily Archives: February 9, 2022
Several bills being considered in the Missouri General Assembly would put barriers between voters and voting. Several League members have asked legislators to focus on making voting easier, not more difficult.
“The Missouri election system has been proven to be secure. Safeguards are in place,” LWVMO President Marilyn McLeod stresses. “The legislature should be looking for ways to make it easier and more convenient for citizens to vote. The more that people participate in the voting process, the better it is for our democracy.”
The House has approved HB1878 requiring strict non-expired government-issued photo ID to vote. The League supports current identification rules and opposes changes that would disenfranchise students, seniors and other marginalized communities. “Missouri has one of the strictest election laws in the country,” McLeod told the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee on April 6. “If this passes, many citizens would appear at their polling place on election day only to discover they don’t have the proper ID to vote.”
HB 1455 would prohibit local election authorities as well as the League and other civic engagement organizations from offering a Missouri voter an unsolicited absentee ballot application. This bill threatens anyone distributing forms to voters who don’t request one with a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The proposed legislation would restrict applications for absentee ballots, not the actual ballots. Ballots are protected by Missouri’s election laws which require notarization of absentee ballots (with an exception for confinement due to illness or disability). McLeod stressed in her testimony that Missouri makes it harder to vote and has more safeguards against election fraud than most other states.
Other legislation would create an even more confusing process for absentee voting. “For democracy to work, every eligible citizen should be heard in elections,” said Angie Dunlap, President of LWV of Metro St. Louis. “Missourians should not need an excuse to vote absentee. A democracy needs every voice.”