Politics are getting in the way of the public’s ability to conveniently vote.
Competing approaches are kicking around at the Capitol, where a senate committee is looking at a proposal for early voting and another proposal for no-excuse absentee voting.
Supporters of early voting say Missourians need a chance to vote as much as 10 days ahead of the election just by going to the county election authority and casting a ballot. Advocates for no-excuse absentee voting say it eliminates the need for people to lie when they want to vote early. But these proposals advocated by a couple of Democrats stand no change this year.
Republican Senator Matt Bartle says it’s a simple political issue. "We’ll jus say it plain and straight, " he says. "The parties have figured out what hurts them and what helps them. Republicans have figured out early voting is not a good thing for them. Democrats have figured out that voter ID is not a good thing for them. Therein lies the potential for compromise."
Despite Bartle’s unusual public candor, the key word is "potential." Neither side appears likely to yield on its support for its own issue or its opposition to the other side’s proposal. It’s pretty late in the session anyway for compromises to be worked out on these issues. It might not get any easier next year—an election year.