Missouri bill aids absentee voting in emergencies

Thursday, April 3, 2014 | 7:13 a.m. CDT; updated 10:32 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 3, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation under consideration in Missouri could give emergency workers summoned to duty near Election Day a greater chance of casting absentee ballots.

Missouri law limits absentee ballots to people who will be unable to vote in person on Election Day because of such reasons as illnesses, disabilities or expected absences.

But lawmakers say some emergency workers can be called to duty on such short notice that they don't have time to request an absentee ballot.

A bill passed Wednesday by the Senate would allow people responding to federal or state emergencies to cast absentee ballots by email or fax machine. The bill now goes to the House.

The legislation would take effect immediately upon the governor's signature, so that it could be in place for the August primary elections.

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