New Missouri Law Expands Absentee Voting
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday signed a bill expanding absentee voting if people are concerned about COVID-19.
The law, which expires at the end of the year, allows high-risk voters age 65 and older, living in a long-term care facility or with existing health problems to vote absentee without needing their ballot notarized.
Any other Missouri voter could cast a mail-in ballot, but it must be notarized.
In a press release, Parson said that “Any Missourian affected by COVID-19 should still be able to vote, including those who are sick or considered at-risk.”
Under SB 631, a mail-in absentee ballot will only be an option for voters who specifically request one. Parson’s office claimed that mass mail-in voting without a reason “only enables voter fraud and ballot harvesting.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Missourians who wanted to vote absentee had to provide one of six reasons for doing so:
-Absence on Election Day;
-Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability;
-Religious belief or practice;
-Employment as an election authority;
-Incarceration, provided that all qualifications for voting are retained; and,
Voters can request absentee ballots from their local election authority in person, by mail, fax or email.