Missouri Republicans are working to ensure that if the state adopts early voting, it’s as limited—and inconvenient—as possible. On Wednesday, the state’s GOP-controlled House approved a measure that would ask voters to consider amending the state’s constitution to establish early voting. But under the amendment, the early voting period would last just nine days, ending a full week before Election Day, and would not include Sunday voting. In other states, Sunday voting is especially popular with African-American voters who often vote en masse after church. … But some Democrats say it’s designed to head off a Democratic-backed campaign that would put a different constitutional amendment on the ballot, allowing for six weeks of early voting, including three Saturdays and three Sundays. As such, they say, it aims to do almost as little as possible to make voting easier for working Missourians.
Complicating the situation even more, Republican lawmakers also are pushing for a constitutional amendment that would instate a voter ID requirement. The measure has passed the House and faces a Senate vote next month. Voting rights advocates are urging Democrats to block it with a filibuster. But some fear that the confluence of voting bills will set off a round of political horse-trading, with the possible result that the ID law could make it through.