Missouri House, Senators pass bill allowing expanded absentee voting during pandemic

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Lawmakers from the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House of Representatives have approved a bill that would allow absentee voting to be expanded during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill passed the Senate, 25-5, and the House, 121-24. It now heads to Gov. Mike Parson's desk.

The bill would allow those who have contracted, or those who are in the at-risk category of contracting COVID-19 to vote absentee in the 2020 elections.

It would expire in December 2020.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft released a statement Friday saying he did not support the bill.

“Without the agreed-upon safeguards, I have grave concerns that this bill will make voting less secure and jeopardize the integrity of our elections,” Ashcroft said in a statement. “I call on legislators to either add the original language back to the bill or vote the current version down. No bill at all is better than passing bad legislation with permanent consequences.”

Click HERE to read the full bill.