The Missouri Legislature has adopted a bill that would allow more mail-in voting during this year’s August and November elections. Voters could cast an absentee ballot by saying they are ill if they are 65 or older, live in a nursing home or have certain health problems. All other voters could mail in their ballot without an excuse, but they must first get it notarized.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (file photo courtesy of the Secretary of State’s office)

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says it’s appropriate during a state of emergency to make sure every voter can be safe, but expanded mail-in voting is not what he prefers.

“It’s just not the most secure way to hold an election,” he tells Missourinet affiliate KSSZ in Columbia. “The gold standard for elections is to have people in person go to their assigned polling place on Election Day.”

Ashcroft, a Republican, says he has security concerns with expanded mail-in voting, but he gets it during a state of emergency.

“I think it’s appropriate that we make sure that every voter in Missouri can vote safely,” he says.

Ashcroft says the likely spike in mail-in ballots for this year’s elections will make it tougher on local election officials. A two-person team, a Republican and a Democrat, checks to make sure each of those ballots is legit.

The bill is awaiting the governor’s consideration.

Brad Tregnago of KSSZ in Columbia contributed to this story

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