SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited Press Release/KY3) – In a signing ceremony at the State Capitol, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed into law five laws, including the House Bill (HB) 1878, which Amends Missouri election laws to strengthen election processes and voter confidence.
“We are pleased to be joined by Representative John Simmons and Senator Sandy Crawford in signing into law HB 1878,” Governor Parson said. “In 2020 and previous years, Missouri held free, fair, and secure elections, but with changing technologies and new threats emerging, we want to make sure they stay that way. HB 1878 strengthens our electoral processes and gives Missourians confidence that their votes are accurately and securely recorded at the ballot box.
HB 1878 – Amends provisions regarding election law:
Requires all registered voters in Missouri to provide photo identification to vote and repeals the use of mail-in ballots while allowing some mail-in ballots, bolstering the integrity of every citizen’s vote.
In addition, HB 1878 made several other changes to state statutes:
- Specifies when voters lists may be audited by the Secretary of State;
- Allows postal voting without excuse in person at the local election authority from two weeks before the election;
- Prohibits the use of ballot boxes for postal ballots;
- makes the paper ballot the official ballot and prohibits the use of electronic counting machines after January 1, 2024;
- Prevents local electoral authorities from accepting private donations, with some exceptions;
- Requires all electronic voting machines to be “isolated” or not directly connected to the internet; and
- Adds several other election-related provisions.
“Our electoral system is the cornerstone of our Republic,” State Representative John Simmons said. “Faith and trust in the process is a solemn responsibility of the voters themselves and of those who organize the elections. Requiring photo ID is just a common sense measure that the vast majority of Missourians support. »
“I believe that when HB 1878 becomes law, Missourians can be assured that their votes will be counted correctly and that there will be many safeguards in place to prevent voter fraud,” said State Senator Sandy Crawford.
Additionally, Governor Parson signed SB 745, SB 820, HB 1606, and HB 1552.
SB 745 – Amends Utilities Provisions:
- Protects the personal information of municipal utility customers from disclosure under the Sunshine Act;
- Expands the ability of some public services to apply to the Public Service Commission
sfor a one-time fare adjustment for fare variations caused by weather, conservation or both outside of a general fare procedure;
- Creates a legislative task force to consider appropriate taxation on solar power systems; and
- Establishes two discount rate options for new large electric customers who project certain electric loads over 5 and 10 year periods.
SB 820 – Amends Utilities Provisions:
- Exempts solar energy systems that are purchased and installed by a solar energy company from sales tax;
- Establishes the Office of Broadband Development in state law, including criteria and deliverables for the broadband subsidy program; and
- Prohibits deeds, covenants, or other binding agreements that limit or prohibit homeowners from installing solar panels on their roofs.
HB 1606 – Amends the Political Subdivisions Act:
- Increases transparency and reduces administrative burdens on the different tax districts;
- Requires deeds to include civil status of all grantors to avoid title discrepancies and land title defects; and
- Passes several state properties.
HB 1552 – Amends Charter School Funding Provisions and Virtual Instruction Requirements:
- makes changes to charter school funding;
- Amends requirements for charter school board member qualifications, publication of annual performance reports, and breastfeeding facilities; and
- Modifies the state virtual school program.
For more information on the specifics of each bill signed, visit House.mo.gov, Senator.mo.gov, or click here.
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