VOTER EDUCATION: Early Voting, Constitutional Amendment 6

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Subject: 2014 Ballot Measures in Missouri 
Gate Way Group Contact: Deanna Hemphill 
Ballot Title: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including the Wednesday before the election day in all general elections?”

Issue Summary(Source: Missouri House of Representatives) 

Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment requires, beginning with the 2016 general election, the establishment of an early voting period prior to the general election. The period will run for six days terminating on the last Wednesday before a general election and not including Saturday or Sunday. In person voting will be during regular business hours at the local election authority sites. Voting may be in-person or by mail using ballots similar to absentee ballots, but with no excuse or reason will be required to vote early. A voter making use of early voting must be registered by the fourth Wednesday prior to the general election. A qualified voter may request delivery of one ballot by mail per general election upon written request to the Office of the Secretary of State or to his or her local election authority.

The resolution contains restrictions on the release of identifying information of a voter who votes early. Laws may require the release of information on those not voting early, but the identity and residential address of anyone voting early will be confidential unless the qualified voter agrees in writing to the release of the information. Each local election authority must appoint an election judge from each major party for each voting site with the appointment process identical to that required by general election law. Procedures for counting, tabulating, and casting ballots are the same as in general law. The resolution requires the state to appropriate funds for the payment of any new expenses incurred by local election authorities. The resolution does not repeal or modify general election laws or constitutional provisions regarding the voting process such as the right to cast an absentee ballot.

The provisions of the resolution must be self-executing and the resolution contains an entrenching clause requiring that subsequent constitutional amendments reference the resolution in order to modify or change its content. It also states that it cannot be repealed by implication.

The resolution contains a severability clause.

This question was referred to the ballot by the state legislature during the 2014 legislative session (Link to House Joint Resolution 90).

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