Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for May 25, 2022

Protecting the Integrity of Our Elections

Elections are at the foundation of the way our government operates. Because of the essential role they play, it’s important our elections function well and that citizens can trust in their outcomes. That’s why this year, I was proud to see the General Assembly take an important step in safeguarding our elections with the passage of House Bill 1878.

First and foremost, this legislation implements a voter ID requirement. To me, this is just common sense. If you have to prove who you are to board a plane or check into a hotel, why not also when you go to vote at the ballot box? This measure will ensure the people voting are who they say they are, and reduce the risk of voter fraud. Further strengthening the safety of our elections, HB 1878 also gives the Missouri secretary of state the ability to audit voter rolls of any municipality to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.

For added levels of security, the legislation requires voting machines not be connected to the internet, in order to prevent hacking or other interference, and requires the use of paper ballots. I believe both of these measures will ensure our election results are safe, secure and most importantly, verifiable in the event of a dispute.

Looking back on the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a slew of sudden and often confusing changes to the way our elections operate leading up to Election Day. Well, HB 1878 hopes to prevent that confusion from happening again by halting changes to our state’s election laws in the 26 weeks before a presidential election. The legislation also bans the use of drop boxes for the delivery of absentee ballots, and prohibits private money from being used in the administration of an election.

Again, I’m proud to see the General Assembly take action on this critical issue. Ultimately, I believe these changes will ensure our elections are strong as possible and shore up any weaknesses they may have going forward.

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 website at