(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The topic of mail-in voting has been a controversial one across the country, but much closer to home, it’s a different story.
The Missouri state legislature passed a bill with bipartisan support, sponsored by a local senator that will allow for everyone in the Show-Me state to vote by mail in the upcoming August and November elections.
Senate Bill 631, sponsored by Senator Dan Hegeman of the 12th District, aims to modify provisions related to elections.
"I think we did it in a very logical and methodical process," Sen. Hegeman said.
Covid-19 concerns prompted the legislature to pass the bill according to Hegeman. He said it was important to keep the same safeguards that exist for absentee voting.
The bill states those who vote by mail this year and are in good health would need to request their ballot in person or by phone and must have it notarized. Those in the "at risk" category of catching the virus (i.e. senior citizens, those who work at nursing homes, and those with health conditions), would not have to get their ballots notarized and have more options on how they can request it.
Hegeman said the bill is the right mix of security and safety.
"I felt like we had a good compromise and we were able to do both," Hegeman said.
The bill was passed in April during one of two days that the legislature was open after the onset of the pandemic. The bill is meant for the August and November elections this year.