Three election bills heard in committee


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo — The House committee on Election’s met in the early hours of Tuesday morning to consider multiple bills.

House Bill 1936 was the first to be addressed by the committee. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, is an effort to change the state primary date from August to June.  This would increase the time between primary and general elections.

“Every state, I think, does it different” Dugger said.141 Dugger

All though he raised some concerns about the bill, Committee chair Rep. Myron Neth, R-Liberty said he supported the idea.

But some lawmakers, like Rep. Newman, R-St. Louis, questioned whether the current primary process was even in need of revision.

“Is there a problem with the way we do elections?” Newman asked during committee.

Rep. Dugger stood by his bill as an effort to provide more time in between primary and general elections.

Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren was on hand to testify in favor of the bill.

“There is a genuine feeling we need more time,” Noren said.

42 KormanThe next bill that was read was House Bill 1692 which is sponsored by Rep. Bart Korman, R-High Hill.  The bill requires all members of a public water supply district board to be voters who have resided in the district for one year prior to the election.

Harry Hill of the Missouri Rural Water Association spoke in support of the bill.

The third bill heard during committee was House Bill 1739 which is sponsored by Rep. Joe Don McGaugh, R-Carrollton. The bill pertains to voter registration and electronic signatures, and would allow for such signatures under specified conditions.

Noren  testified in support of this bill as well.

Rep. Joe Don McGaugh
Rep. Joe Don McGaugh

“If the local election official is going to be blamed if something is screwed up, then that official needs to be the authority,” Noren said.  Noran explained how she has strived to use technology in the voter registration process in her area, and has even devised her own system of gaining and tracking information.

Rep. Randy Dunn showed support for the bill “I think this is moving us in the right direction.”

No witnesses spoke during the hearing in opposition of any of the bills.

The hearing concluded after a successful voice vote in executive session on HB 1936.