On Wednesday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a new election law that will require voters to show their photo ID in order to vote and bans ballot drop boxes.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 1878 on Wednesday requiring voters to show a legal photo ID. The only accepted forms of ID are nonexpired Missouri driver’s license, nonexpired state nondriver’s license, other documents issued by the state or federal government with a photo and recent confirmable signature, or photo identification issued by the Missouri National Guard, U.S. Armed Forces, or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
HB 1878 – Modifies provisions regarding election law:
Requires all registered voters in Missouri to provide a photo ID to vote and repeals the use of mail-in ballots while allowing certain absentee ballots, strengthening the integrity of each citizen’s vote.
Additionally, HB 1878 makes several other modifications to state statute:
- Clarifies when voter rolls can be audited by the Secretary of State;
- Allows no excuse absentee voting in person at the local election authority starting two weeks prior to the election;
- Prohibits the use of ballot drop boxes for absentee ballots;
- Makes the paper ballot the official ballot and prohibits the use of electronic vote counting machines after January 1, 2024;
- Prevents local election authorities from accepting private donations, with limited exceptions;
- Requires all electronic voting machines to be “air gapped” or not directly connected to the internet; and
- Adds several other provisions related to elections.
“Our election system is a cornerstone of our Republic,” State Representative John Simmons said. “Faith and confidence in the process is a solemn responsibility by voters themselves and those conducting elections. A photo ID requirement is but one common sense measure the vast majority of Missourians support.”
“I believe when HB 1878 becomes law Missourians can be assured that their votes will be counted correctly and there will be many safeguards in place to prevent voter fraud,” State Senator Sandy Crawford said.
The law will take effect on August 28, just a few weeks after the state’s August 2 primaries.
HB 1878 also bans drop boxes to collect absentee ballots, mandates cybersecurity reviews, and prohibits private donations for elections, with exceptions for personal protective equipment, water, or food for election workers.
It takes away Missouri’s presidential primary, leaving parties to hold caucuses or conventions instead, allowing voters to register by party starting in 2023.
A voter who comes to the polling sites without the required photo ID can cast a provisional ballot with a signature on the ballot envelope and a sworn affidavit; however, the election judges will mark the ballot envelope to indicate that the voter’s identity was not verified.
Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller said the standard of making paper ballots the official ballot in Missouri was already been the standard locally.
”What this bill was doing was making sure that everyone was voting on a paper ballot and had a physical ballot that they could look at, versus one that basically stayed with the machine itself. You never got a chance to verify your vote before you cast it,” Schoeller says.
Schoeller says only one county in the state still uses that touch screen voting equipment.
“Their ballot, in essence, was on a piece of paper that was scrolled up in the machine, and then it tabulated up in that machine,” Schoeller says. “That technology is going away. It’s outdated.”
This is a small step forward in ensuring that our elections really are fair and free. After the debacle of the 2020 elections when we watched as the cheating happened overnight and the utter corruption since then, more states need to follow in Missouri’s footsteps.