by Mike Ferguson
(St. Charles, MO) – Should Election Day become for of an election period of time? Instead of requiring voters to cast their ballots on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, we could see a change in Missouri that would allow us to cast that same ballot on a day we choose.
That’s what Amendment 6 is all about. If passed by voters, it would allow a six day early voting period prior to the General Election. Many states already have some form of early voting. Missouri has absentee voting, which requires the voter to have a reason for why they are unable to get to the polls on Election Day. Early voting does not require a reason.
What’s proposed with Amendment 6 is allowing early voting for six business days, up to the Wednesday prior to the General Election. Aaron Baker from Missourians For Free and Fair Elections speaks in favor of the plan on this week’s “Missouri Viewpoints”.
Glenn Koening from the Missouri Association for Social Welfare argues against Amendment 6, even though MASW supports the concept of early voting. He points out that the proposal does not allow for voting on weekends and doesn’t require that early voting be offered. The State Legislature and the Governor would have to approve funding for early voting to enable that to happen. If the budget is too lean, the elections would remain a one-day event.
MASW supported a plan to allow six weeks of early voting, including weekends. Baker says the problem with that is the cost and the impact it would have on local election officials.
As proposed, Amendment 6 is estimated to cost about $2 million up front and hundreds of thousands of dollars each year early voting would be used, although there’s no exact cost known at this point.
On the web:
Missouri Association for Social Welfare: www.MASW.org
Amendment 6/ Missouri Secretary of State’s page: http://sos.mo.gov/elections/2014ballot/
* Missourians for Free and Fair Elections does not have a website