The League of Women Voters of Missouri believes our public officials must uphold the rights of all voters while simultaneously safeguarding the health and safety of the American people during the COVID-19 crisis. In Missouri, we can uphold voters’ rights by immediately providing for no-excuse absentee voting in upcoming elections.
Missouri is one of just 11 states that require an excuse to request an absentee ballot and a notarized signature for the completed ballot.
The League of Missouri encourages elected officials to add this pandemic to the acceptable reasons to request an absentee ballot and to waive the notarized signature required on the mailed ballots. In the current crisis, it’s urgent that voters be able to vote without jeopardizing themselves and their community. The deadline to request an absentee ballot from your local election authority is May 20 for the municipal elections that will now be held on June 2.
Proposed Missouri Senate Bill 681 would make these changes to current election law and expand early voting opportunities, but it requires both House and Senate action to become law. In the meantime, elected officials should find a way to allow more voters to cast absentee ballots as an immediate response to the ongoing pandemic.
Evelyn Maddox, president
League of Women Voters of Missouri