Following the November election, just about every politician from the president on down vowed to do something about the lines some voters faced during the 2012 general election cycle. Now, with most Legislatures back at work — some have even completed their work for 2013 — altering, or allowing, early voting seems to be the most popular way legislators have chosen to tackle the problems of lines. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures 32 states and the District of Columbia allow voters to cast a ballot in person in advance of an election and Oregon and Washington offer all vote-by-mail thus making early voting a moot point. Of the remaining 16 states that did not offer early voting at the time of the November 2012 general election legislatures in more than half of those states are considering legislation that would allow voters to cast an early ballot. Bipartisan efforts to advance early voting have begun making their way through several statehouses.
New Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) convened a bipartisan special panel earlier this year which recommended the state adopt early voting Kander is working with Rep. Myron Neth (R-Liberty) who agreed to sign on as co-sponsor to early voting legislation.
“This has a lot of merit, and there’s no reason that we shouldn’t look at it,” Neth told St. Louis Today.
Although there is initial bipartisan support, previous attempts to advance early voting legislation in the Show Me State were bogged down by the state’s ongoing debate over voter ID.
A bill to allow Minnesotans to vote early is slowly making its way through the Legislature. The proposed legislation would give voters two weeks before an election to cast an early ballot. Under the proposal, polling stations would have to be open some evenings and at least two Saturdays.
A Democratic Senator introduced the legislation and the Legislature is controlled by DFLers, but Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) has warned that unless the legislation has “broad bipartisan support” that he would not sign it.
“If it has that bipartisan support, that’s a pretty good indicator that it is good for Minnesota, good for election participation and protects the integrity, both of which are laudable goals,” Dayton told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.