JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers were pushing to allow everyone to vote by mail if they so choose in the upcoming August and November elections because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the waning hours of the 2020 Missouri Legislative Session, state lawmakers approved a plan to allow those with COVID-19 or those at a high risk of being infected to vote by mail. Other eligible voters who want to vote by mail would be able to do so but only with a notary. Republicans agreed to drop efforts to include a requirement that voters show a photo ID.
The state’s top election official, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, has paned the latest version of the bill. He spent Friday hand-delivering PPE (personal protective equipment) for election workers across the state.
Ashcroft hit 11 counties, including Franklin, Pike, Lincoln, Warren, Montgomery, and St. Charles in the St. Louis region. He dropped off enough face-shields, masks, hand sanitizer, and “six-feet” distance markers for the more 600 workers in St. Charles County for the June 2 elections, which were pushed back from April because of the pandemic.
They are not subject to the new legislation.
The COVID-19 vote-by-mail bill would allow voters in Missouri to cast ballots by mail if they’re still concerned about exposure to the virus at polling places, in spite of all of the PPE Ashcroft is delivering.
As for the PPE deliveries, the last and largest will be next Friday to St. Louis city and county.
The supplies for those two alone will fill the state delivery van, so Ashcroft has set aside one day just for them.