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Capitol Briefs: Voter rights groups rally at Capitol

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A coalition of advocacy groups took to the Capitol steps Tuesday as part of Voting Rights Lobby Day.

Advocates from the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, Missionary State Convention of Missouri, Missouri NAACP, and other groups spoke in opposition of several bills. Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove and House Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade also spoke at the event, encouraging attendees to use their voices in the statehouse and on the ballot. 

“The hypocrisy is real,” Bland Manlove said. “My action item to you: Make sure your friends and family are registered to vote already, we need to make sure they show up. If voting wasn’t important, they wouldn’t try so hard to get in the way of it.”

  • The group outlined several pieces of legislation it opposed, including HB 334, which would impose photo ID requirements for voting. The bill is currently going through the committee process in the Senate.
  • Another piece, HB 738, would allow no-excuse absentee voting only on an in-person basis, while HJRs 20, 2, 9, 27, and HB 333 would alter the state’s initiative petition process. Those pieces have all progressed to the Senate. 

The group also decried SB 26, which passed on to the House last month. The bill makes several changes to law enforcement statutes in addition to creating penalties for impeding a highway during protests and defacing monuments.

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