A bill has been passed in the Senate that would increase the Secretary of State’s authority regarding election offenses. Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit), who is running for Secretary of State, wants to give the state’s chief election officer the power to investigate suspected election violations.
“There’s a report that was done by the Center of Public Integrity and it actually rated Missouri 42nd and gave us an F for the ability for the chief election authority to actually investigate voter fraud. It cites the fact that they have no authority to sanction anyone,” said Kraus.
Jill Schupp (D- Creve Couer) opposes the measure.
“My concern is why we are, what appears to me, to be giving the role of the Attorney General’s office to the Secretary of State’s office,” said Schupp.
“They’re the expert when it comes to election law,” said Kraus. “They’re the ones dealing with it day to day. They’re the ones that have the resources to look at the voter files and see if the person is voting in multiple jurisdictions.”
The bill would also allow the Secretary of State to be a special prosecutor in a suspected case of election fraud if a local prosecutor can’t handle the case.
Kraus said funding and staffing would not have to be increased to prosecute such cases.
The measure is headed to the House.
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