SB 757 - This act modifies numerous provisions relating to voter registration. Under this act, the Department of Revenue is required to provide the electronic information of and electronic signature for qualified voters to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is then required to transmit such information to the appropriate election authority. Once the election authority has received this information, and if the person has not affirmatively declined to be registered within 21 days of notification from the election authority, such person shall be deemed registered to vote. The Secretary of State is required to promulgate rules to implement these provisions.
Under this act, persons are permitted to register to vote at any state educational institution.
Currently, if a person is not registered to vote by the fourth Wednesday prior to the election then he or she is not permitted to vote in that election, with exceptions. This act permits registration on election day for any qualified person who appears at the proper polling place, completes a voter registration application, and presents proof of identification. Such person shall subsequently be permitted to vote in such election.
The act creates the Disabled Voter Protection Office. The purpose of this office is to promote access to voter registration and voting for disabled persons. Under this act, disabled persons are permitted to register to vote and vote at his or her residence. The Secretary of State is required to promulgate rules and regulations in order to permit such persons to vote by mail, absentee ballot, or by telephone.
The act creates a Class C felony for hindering, interfering with, or otherwise preventing a qualified person from registering to vote.
Modifications are made to provisions relating to modes of voting. All electronic voting systems are required to produce results from paper ballots marked by hand, or in the case of disabled voters who need assistance, from paper ballots marked by a paper ballot marking device designed to assist such voters.
The act creates a system to allow voters to cast advance ballots at central voting locations and satellite sites. The advance voting period will begin the third Wednesday prior to an election and shall be conducted between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and until 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays. In selecting satellite sites, the election authority shall consider factors including geographic location and demographics of the registered voters from the previous election to ensure nondiscrimination. The election authority shall further provide adequate notice of the central locations and the satellite sites that are chosen. Provisions regarding advance voting become effective January 1, 2017.
This act also permits persons to vote by mail. The election authority is required to mail ballots to every qualified and registered voter at least 18 days prior to each election. Voters are required to return his or her ballot no later than the time at which his or her respective polling place closes, or postmarked no later than the day of the election.
Modifications are made to provisions relating to identification required of persons seeking to vote in an election. In 2006, SB 1014 was passed which implemented new identification requirements for voting. Specifically, voters were required to present a photo ID in order to vote. That provision of law was declared unconstitutional under the Missouri Constitution by the Missouri Supreme Court. This act repeals the changes made to voter identification requirements by SB 1014 (2006) and re-implements the law as it was prior to the 2006 legislative session.
Under current law, persons who are confined under a sentence of imprisonment or are on probation or parole after conviction of a felony are not entitled to vote. This act removes those prohibitions and further states that, with the exception of persons convicted of a felony that are serving a sentence as a result of such felony conviction in a correctional facility at the time of election, any person convicted of a criminal offense shall not be denied the right to vote. Additionally, the Secretary of State is required to, at least 21 days prior to any election, notify individuals qualified to vote that have been convicted of a criminal offense of his or her right to vote.
The act increases the criminal penalty for certain actions relating to discrimination or intimidation relating to elections from a class D felony to a class C felony.
This act contains provisions which are similar to SB 399 (2015), SB 749 (2014), SB 145 (2013), HB 1438 (2012), SB 603 (2012), SB 3 (2011), SB 105 (2011), SB 651 (2010), SB 523 (2009), SB 21 (2009), SB 1251 (2008), SB 37 (2007), and SB 859 (2006).