Bill would give Secretary of State more power in voter cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to a bill that could give the Secretary of State more power to investigate election irregularities.

Under the proposal, the Secretary of State could ask a judge to force the release of records concerning voting violations. The House gave preliminary approval Wednesday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the legislation comes four months after Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said state law didn’t give him the authority to subpoena records in an investigation into former Attorney General Josh Hawley.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Shaul, a Republican from Imperial, said it would not make the Secretary of State a prosecutor.

Currently, local prosecutors investigate voting complaints.

Rep. Judy Morgan, a Democrat from Kansas City, said county clerks oppose giving more power to the Secretary of State.

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