Missouri governor Mike Parson has made a series of missteps lately (including
potentially exposing elderly veterans to COVID-19
by refusing to wear a mask during a photo-op) but now it’s time to give credit where credit is due, because Governor Parson has finally done something right for once.
Yesterday he signed SB 631
into law, which allows all Missouri voters to vote from home via mail-in ballot. This senate bill will allow Missouri voters to vote by mail with a new mail-in ballot in the August and November elections this year.
Voters do not need a reason or excuse to vote by mail, but they will
need to have their ballot notarized.
However, if a voter is “confined due to illness” or is in the CDC’s at-risk categories for COVID-19, the voter can vote absentee and will not
need their absentee ballot notarized.
The CDC’s list of at-risk categories
is broad and includes large groups of at-risk Americans: Everyone age 65 and older, everyone who is immunocompromised and everyone with asthma, diabetes and more.
“Any Missourian affected by COVID-19 should still be able to vote, including those who are sick or considered at-risk,” Governor Parson said in a press release
. “I applaud Senator Dan Hegeman, Representative Dan Shaul, and the rest of the legislature for taking this important step, which provides Missourians with a safe and secure way to vote while still safeguarding our elections and ballot process.”
Parson does stop and take time to lick some boots, though. Adding in
“I fully agree with President Trump’s position and do not support any plan to expand mass mail-in voting without a reason,” Governor Parson continued. “This only enables voter fraud and ballot harvesting, and I am proud to sign this bill to stop that process from happening in our state.”
Well, there is
a reason to expand mass mail-in voting this year, at least. And it seems like these Republicans might be changing their minds on mail-in voting now that they’ve realized that a large part of their base (elderly Americans) might be too scared to get out to vote for them.
The Missouri voting by mail situation can’t be considered fully fixed until all votes are equal and easily cast (meaning that the notary thing must go, all postage must be pre-paid, etc.) but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
But any time there is a step in the right direction in Missouri, we must celebrate. It doesn’t happen often.
If you are unsure if you will be able to vote by mail later this year, check out the handy chart below provided by the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition
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