JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, is calling on the Missouri secretary of state to use the new authority granted to his office under Senate Bill 786 to investigate the recent allegations of absentee voter fraud that is said to have occurred during the August primary race for Missouri’s 78th House District. The senator is also requesting that the secretary of state use the expanded authority to investigate the unresolved claims of voter fraud stemming from the April 2015 mayoral race in Kinloch, Missouri.
“As Missouri’s chief elections officer, the secretary of state has a duty to our citizens to conduct a thorough investigation into any credible claims of voter fraud. Within just a little over the past year, two cases of possible voter fraud have come to light, yet we still have no definitive answers as to whether there was any wrongdoing,” said Sen. Kraus. “Signed by the governor in July, SB 786 gives the secretary of state newfound abilities to investigate any claims of election offenses and issue a probable cause statement in the event he finds reasonable grounds that an offense has been committed.”
On Aug. 2, the incumbent representative for the 78th House District lost to her challenger in terms of election day turnout; however, she was still able to claim victory after winning a significant number of absentee ballots. On Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch released a report detailing allegations of election offenses committed by her campaign, including attempts to gather duplicate ballots for absentee voters and marking absentee voters as incapacitated even though they weren’t. In April 2015, a Kinloch mayor-elect was barred from taking office due to possible voter fraud in the election. The St. Louis County prosecutor has yet to file charges in the case.
“These recent cases of voter fraud demonstrate that our current voting system is vulnerable and how some will try and change the outcome of an election. This is why I hope Missouri voters approve the photo voter ID measure that will appear on the November ballot,” added Sen. Kraus. “In the meantime, the secretary of state has the legal authority to step up his office’s investigations into any possible election offenses. On behalf of Missouri citizens and the integrity of our elections process, I urge him to do so.”
House Bill 1631, handled by Sen. Kraus in the Senate, seeks to implement a photo ID requirement for voters. House Bill 1631 passed with a companion referendum, House Joint Resolution 53, which will be on the ballot in November. The governor vetoed HB 1631 in July; if the veto is successfully overridden, the measure will only take effect if voters choose to pass the referendum.