A bill that would give the Secretary of State’s office the authority to prosecute voter fraud in Missouri is being sponsored next year by Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit). The bill would also allow the Secretary of State to write probable cause statements in potential voter fraud cases.
“It allows them to prosecute voter fraud cases if the local prosecutor chooses not to or doesn’t have the resources,” said Kraus. “There are some small counties in the state of Missouri that may not have the resources and then there are some large counties that may be taking care of more violent crimes and other things that the prosecutors are a little busy with and don’t have the time for a voter fraud case.”
Denise Lieberman with civil rights group Advancement Project said county prosecutors should continue to prosecute such crimes.
“I do find it curious that this will seek to give some new prosecutorial authority to an office that doesn’t currently have prosecutorial authority,” said Lieberman.
Lieberman said the current system is working.
“I don’t see any evidence in stats that the Secretary of State has failed to adequately investigate any complaints of voting irregularities, nor do I see any evidence that prosecutors have failed to act on those complaints when they’ve been valid,” said Lieberman.
Kraus said funding and staffing would not have to be increased to prosecute such cases. He said 16 people have pled guilty or been convicted of voter fraud in Missouri in the past ten years.