Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for Oct. 20, 2022

Protecting the Integrity of Our Elections

The ability to cast one’s vote on Election Day is a fundamental part of our representative republic. An individual’s vote is their voice and their 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. In order to protect the integrity of our state’s elections, my colleagues and I passed a package of voting reforms during the 2022 legislative session.

Passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor, House Bill 1878 makes several changes to the way our state conducts its elections. First and foremost, voters are now required to show a valid photo ID at their 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. I believe this commonsense requirement promotes transparency and protects against the possibility of voter fraud. The legislation also allows the secretary of state to audit the voter rolls of any municipality to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date. In addition, the new changes to our state’s election law 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.

Overall, the public must have complete faith and confidence in our elections and their outcomes — our form of government depends on it. Through HB 1878, the General Assembly took important steps to protect the integrity of the ballot box and ensure our elections are transparent, reliable and secure. It’s important to point out that this new law isn’t about giving someone an advantage on Election Day, it’s about safeguarding one of our most fundamental rights as Americans.

As you prepare to head to the polls this Election Day, the changes implemented by HB 1878 will be in effect — this includes the photo ID requirement. For a full list of acceptable forms of ID, please visit the secretary of state’s website. For those planning on voting absentee this year, you have several options to do so. Mail-in or faxed absentee ballots must be received by your local election authority no later than 5 p.m. on the second Wednesday prior to Election Day. From Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, you can cast a no-excuse absentee ballot in person at a location designated by your local election authority. For more information on voting in the Show-Me State, please visit

As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office at 573-751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate webpage at