SB 907 - This act modifies provisions of law relating to the conduct of primary elections.
Under current law, at each primary election voters are entitled to pick any ballot among the various established political parties, regardless of their political party affiliation or unaffiliation. This act stipulates that voters are only entitled to cast a ballot in the primary of the political party with which they are affiliated, according to their voter registration.
The act requires persons registering to vote to indicate a political party affiliation. Voters may only choose to be affiliated with an established political party, provided that they may also choose to be unaffiliated. The voter registration form will explicitly notify registrants that if they do not choose a political party affiliation then they will be designated as unaffiliated.
A voter may change his or her political party affiliation at any time, except that changes made less than 23 weeks prior to the primary election or 15 weeks prior to the presidential preference primary will not take effect until after such election has taken place. Any person who has not previously registered to vote in Missouri and who registers to vote after the last day to change party affiliation but before the last to register to vote may vote in the primary election if he or she chooses a political party affiliation or unaffiliation upon registering to vote.
Any person registered to vote prior to the effective date of this act shall be considered to be unaffiliated with a political party unless he or she:
· Files a change of political party affiliation pursuant to this act; or
· Votes in a primary election that will take place after August 28, 2022, but before September 1, 2024, in which case the election authority must change the person's voter registration to reflect that the ballot chosen by the person is the political party with which he or she is affiliated.
The act requires that any person who files a declaration of candidacy as a party candidate for nomination or election to any office must be affiliated with that political party, according to his or her voter registration, no later than twenty-three weeks prior to the last Tuesday in February (the opening of candidate filing) immediately preceding the primary election in question. Likewise, any person running as an independent candidate or as the candidate for a new party shall be registered as unaffiliated as of the same deadline. These provisions do not apply to candidates for the presidential preference primary.
Current law allows party nominating committees of any established political party to select a party candidate under certain situations. This act requires any candidate selected by the committee to be affiliated with such party.
Parts of this act have an effective date of January 1, 2025.
This act is identical to SB 154 (2021) and substantially similar to HB 1450 (2022), SB 571 (2020), HB 1258 (2020), HB 1639 (2020), SB 109 (2019), and HCS/HBs 26 & 922 (2019).