February 7, 2016

Primary election filing date change advances in House Committee

The House Committee on Elections has given a favorable vote to the Senate bill that would push back filing dates for the August primary one month. The move is intended to allow time for the courts to settle issues with state house and senate, and congressional districts.

Representatives Stacy Newman and Pat Conway

The measure was opposed by two Democrats on that Committee. Representative Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis County) says she wants to be sure the Secretary of State’s Office can pick up the cost of publishing a notice of that date change so that county clerks don’t have to. “I’d like to make sure … it’s no fault of anyone’s here, but just to make sure that their budget is not being penalized because of this additional cost.”

Committee Chairman Tony Dugger (R-Hartville) told Newman he assumes that money is already built-in to the fiscal year 2012 budget. “I think they often put an ‘E’ in some of those line items that allows discretion of the Secretary of State to pay for such things as these.”

Representative Pat Conway (D-St. Joseph) suggested that filing dates be pushed back only for the offices whose districts are in question, pending court action. “That will also allow local election officials to start preparing their ballots because that will be a lengthy process when you get into entailing all of the issues that are going to be on the August ballot.”

See the language of SB 773

The votes of Conway and Newman were the only two against the measure, which advances to the House Rules Committee.