Changes could come to Missouri elections - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Changes could come to Missouri elections

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Mississippi County Clerk Hubert Delay, Jr. Mississippi County Clerk Hubert Delay, Jr.
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CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) -

A pair of bills in the Missouri legislature would drastically change elections in the state.

One bill would expanding voting while another may make it harder for some to cast their ballots.

One bill sponsored by Republicans would require a photo ID to vote.

The other, sponsored by Democrats, would allow early voting.

Mississippi County Clerk Hubert Delay, Jr. says a bill approved by the Missouri House of Representatives that would require a valid photo ID to vote with only a few exceptions wouldn't have a big impact on most voters.

"I don't think it will have that big of a change," he said. "Most people now are used to coming in and presenting an ID and most people use their driver's license as an ID."

But he says the poor and elderly could be affected because they don't have easy access to photo IDs.

"Last time this issue came about, the state talked about possibly having a van to go around to certain locations to perform that activity. But it could possibly cause a hardship," he said.

Two bills with similar language that would allow early voting are in Senate committees.

If passed, the bills would allow people to vote at least two weeks prior to election day.

All the voting would have to take place at a centralized location, which Delay says his county wouldn't be able to afford.

"We would have to man it with election judges, put ballots out there and all of that," he said.  "So you're talking about a tremendous increase in cost for the county. You take a county such as ours and we simply can't afford that cost. It's another one of those unfunded mandates."

But delays says early voting isn't all bad.

He thinks it will get more people to the polls.

"Anytime you make things more convenient for people and accommodate their schedules, I think the turnout would increase," Delay said.

The bill requiring an ID has passed through the House.

A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon two years ago.

The bill to expand early voting is still in committee in the Senate.

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