The state House has rejected a Democratic proposal to allow Missourians to vote early.
Missouri voters can cast absentee ballots before an election Tuesday, but must swear to a reason they can’t come to the polls on election day. Democrats including Representative Margo McNeil (Florissant) say voters shouldn’t have to give a reason.
“They don’t have to lie about, ‘Oh, I’m going to be out of town,’ or, ‘I’m taking care of my sick mother,'” said McNeil. “They can just vote and that’s the way we should be running things. It will be much simpler for voters.
Representative Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) agrees.
“It allows voters really not to have to lie in an affidavit in terms of why they’re voting absentee,” said Newman.
Republicans said the measure wasn’t debated and refined in committee, and say early voting would only create more opportunities for fraud to occur.
“I served seven years in the courthouse on election night. The first thing we did was we pulled all of the dead absentee ballots out of the box,” said Representative Glen Kolkmeyer (R-Odessa). He said allowing early voting would, “flood Kansas City and St. Louis with more dead people that’s not going to be pulled out of the system. We pull ’em out in the rural, they don’t pull ’em out in the cities, and this is going to allow more dead people to vote in the State of Missouri.”
The proposal was rejected along party lines, with Majority Republicans opposing it.