Carnahan says let Missouri vote early

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:52 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 13, 2008

[Note: this story has been modified since its original posting to correct errors.]

Democratic nominee for secretary of state Robin Carnahan said Monday she wants Missourians to be able to vote before Election Day in a speech at the Columbia Public Library.

Citing Iowa’s early-voting program, which allows citizens to vote up to 40 days before the election, Carnahan said the program is one way to ensure that more people will have a chance to vote. The program also allows voters to avoid long lines at the polls that might stop them from voting altogether.

“If early voting is good enough for our neighbors and 26 other states, it is good enough for Missouri,” she said.

Carnahan also wants the state to give small-business owners more online resources. She said her plan includes a way for the state to save money by making the secretary of state’s Web site easier for small business owners to use to register their businesses.

The revamped Web site would include a link to a small-business advocacy group to help business owners better navigate their way through state bureaucracy. The site would also offer services to bring small business owners together with potential investors.

Carnahan also wants to reduce fees for companies that choose to file online with the state, because filing online saves everyone involved in the process time and money.

Carnahan also took time to defend herself against recent attacks from the Missouri Republican party, which, in a press release Monday before the speech compared Carnahan’s mapping out a plan for the secretary of state’s office to “a plumber mapping out the details of neural surgery.”

Carnahan said her experience as a corporate lawyer, as an adviser for setting up free elections in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Eastern Bloc and as a small-business owner make her uniquely qualified for the position.

Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver defended Carnahan’s qualifications when he introduced her.

“I want to talk about the three reasons why Robin Carnahan will be the next secretary of state,” Culver said. “They are, number one, experience, number two, experience, and number three, experience.”

Hanaway said Monday that many of the programs Carnahan suggested already exist, including a plan for early voting that failed in the legislature last year.

Hanaway said she supports early voting but voted against the bill because it passed the cost onto the county.

“I supported early voting as speaker of the House, and I’m glad to see Robin is finally catching up,” Hanaway said.

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