“Highlights with Hegeman” for the Week of Aug. 15: Protecting Our Elections

The ability to cast a vote on Election Day is a fundamental part of our representative republic. An individual’s vote is reflective of that person’s voice and the ability to choose who represents them at all levels of government. While we all come from different backgrounds, each of our voices count the same on Election Day: one person, one vote. As a result, I believe it is vital to the stability and success of our state and federal government that we do everything we can to maintain the integrity of our elections.

House Bill 1878 makes several changes to the way our state conducts its elections. First and foremost, it requires voters to show a valid photo ID at the polling place in order to vote. It is vitally important that those who choose to participate in our elections prove their identity. As I said earlier, one person, one vote. From where I stand, this is a commonsense requirement that promotes transparency and protects against the possibility of voter fraud. The legislation also allows the secretary of state to audit the voter rolls in any municipality to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date. In addition, HB 1878 eliminates the use of drop boxes to collect absentee ballots; makes it illegal for any election authority or municipality to receive or use any private funds to administer or conduct an election; and implements several other important security measures.

As Americans, the Constitution does not require us to take part in the election process; however, countless individuals throughout the history of our country have fought and died for the rights we enjoy as citizens of this nation. The right to vote is something I do not take lightly. Throughout my legislative career, I have remained committed to doing everything possible to make sure Missourians continue to have the ability to vote in free and fair elections. As a result, I believe this new state law will help assure our elections remain transparent, reliable and secure.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is dan.hegeman@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.