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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Absentee voting is underway in Missouri for the upcoming presidential primary but some lawmakers feel the state should allow early voting.

State Rep. Wiley Price (D-St. Louis) has introduced legislation that would make early voting legal in Missouri. He believes expanding the opportunity for Missourians to vote is a non-partisan issue.

“People on both sides of the aisle vote and have jobs that don’t always allow them to get there,” he said.

Missourians can currently vote absentee if they will be out of town on Election Day or meet other requirements including sickness or disability that prevents them from getting to the polls. Price said some voters are casting absentee ballots even though they don’t qualify.

“I don’t feel there is any reason that you should have to go lie to your local government to vote,” he said.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft released the following statement regarding early voting: “We are focused on the 2020 elections and their security. I’m not inclined to support any changes in our voting laws that do not enhance the security of our elections. Other changes to our election laws, especially this close to this year’s important elections, could cause unnecessary voter confusion.”

Early voting would bring an added cost of paying election judges for more days and keeping some government buildings open on days when they would normally be closed. Price believes the cost would be worth it. He believes voters should not require an excuse to cast an early ballot.