Sen. Lauren Arthur Files Legislation to Bring Early Voting to Missouri


Missouri is one of only 12 states that prohibit early voting, leading to long lines, confusion and other obstacles at the polls.

Jefferson City, Mo. – State Sen. Lauren Arthur, D – Kansas City, has filed Senate Bill 59 to make voting easier and elections more secure by allowing early voting statewide. In the 2014 and 2016 general elections, some Missourians had to wait in massive lines in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Lines were so long in some places that ballots were still being cast hours after the polls had officially closed. Other registered voters could not vote because they were unable to wait in these lines.

Many believe early voting helps address these problems while increasing voter participation. Senator Arthur’s legislation would allow any registered voter who is eligible to vote in a particular election to do so by absentee ballot, prior to Election Day, without being required to state a reason. Such early voting is already available in a majority of states, including Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. Missouri is one of only 12 states that prohibits early voting.

“Safe, strong and fair elections are elections in which everyone’s voice is heard and needless barriers are removed from the process,” said Sen. Arthur. “Right now, in Missouri, we make voting too hard. These burdens serve no purpose, but to minimize turnout. They weaken our democracy and rob people of their fundamental right to cast a ballot. My legislation will have Missouri join the vast majority of other states that have implemented early voting and, as a result, make our democracy stronger and more responsive.”

For a complete list of all bills filed for the 2019 legislative session, please visit the Missouri Senate’s website at