ST. LOUIS — House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, announced the chair and members of an interim committee that is tasked with finding “legislative solutions” to issues the state election process faces.
The House Interim Committee on Election Procedure, lead by House Elections Committee chair Rep. Sue Entlicher, R-Bolivar, will make sure Missouri’s election laws are up-to-date and that there are no duplications, among other things, according to Jones’ press release.
“We have some significant looming problems within our elections process that must be addressed sooner rather than later,” Jones said.
Entlicher said she’s looking forward to seeing what the bipartisan committee, with the help and working relationship with Secretary of State Jason Kander, can accomplish.
“I think it’s important for this to be bipartisan,” Entlicher said, emphasizing that the committee’s productivity will be dependent on discussing and working out differences, and heavily incorporating the input from Kander’s office.
She said the committee will work to review what the legislature did and didn’t do this past session in terms of election bills, as well as look ahead at what actions they should take, and how, next year. She said her hope is that it will save time during session for the committee to vet issues with bills before they’re offered next year.
Some of the specific projects she said the group would be working on include updating the statutes that no longer apply to Missouri because the state doesn’t use punch-card voting mechanisms anymore. Other priorities are addressing the statutes the Election Authority said were no longer needed. She said while many of those statutes were addressed this past year, there still are a few left to tackle.
Jones announced that the Committee’s Vice Chair will be Rep. Gary Cross, R-Lee’s Summit. The Committee also includes Republican Reps. John Diehl, Tony Dugger, Joe Don McGaugh, Myron Neth, Dave Muntzel and Bryan Spencer, as well as Democratic Reps. Mike Colona, Randy Dunn and Stacey Newman.
Entlicher said currently, there’s no date set for the committee’s first meeting.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.