All the talk about the community organizing group ACORN and allegations of voter fraud have some Missourians asking about this state’s rules for registering people to vote.
State Senator Delbert Scott (R-Lowry City) sponsored legislation in 2006 (SB 1014) that takes away some of the financial incentive to turn in phony names. In essence, people can be paid by the hour to register voters, but they cannot be paid a fixed fee for each registration card that is turned in.
In addition, any person who is paid to collect more than ten signatures for voter registration must register, with the Secretary of State’s Office, as a voter registration solicitor, with the solicitors names maintained on a list with the Secretary’s office.
While Missouri law bans pay per signature for voter registration, it does allow pay per signature for initiative petition drives and for independent candidates wanting ballot access. Scott says that creates an environment that invites fraud.
The Secretary of State’s Office believes safeguards are now in place to protect against voter fraud. For instance, a statewide data base of registered voters now exists, along with a system to match voters who have been registered through one of the voter registration solicitors. Currently, there are 597 such solicitors.