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Gov. signs bill expanding military voting access

  
Senator Will Kraus

8th Senatorial District

 

For Immediate Release:

June 25, 2015

 

  Capitol Building, Room 418

Jefferson City, MO 65101

 

Contact:

(573) 751-1464

 

Gov. signs bill expanding military voting access

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Nixon signed a bill today that would allow military and overseas voters to cast absentee ballots for statewide and state legislative elections.

 

Senate Bill 105, which was combined with Senate Bill 34, is designed to give deployed military members broader access to elections. Sen. Will Kraus, bill sponsor and a veteran who served in Iraq, said the current law restricting some military voters to federal elections only is unfair to service men and women.

 

“When I was deployed, it was not easy or convenient for me to vote,” Kraus said. “My unit could be transitioning bases, and it could take a month or more to receive an absentee ballot in the mail. Extended voter registration deadlines for military members have alleviated the problem to a certain degree, but we are still making the process better.”

 

The problem comes from mismatched federal and state registration guidelines concerning military-specific deadlines. Because the state guidelines are stricter, some deployed voters are not allowed to cast absentee ballots for statewide and state legislative elections. The new law will provide a consistent definition of who is allowed to register to vote by the military-specific deadline and apply it to state and federal elections.

 

“Military members are defending our country overseas, and we owe it to them to ensure their right to vote freely and consistently is preserved,” Kraus said.