Legislation signed into law Thursday will make it easier to vote for members of the military serving overseas. The bill represents one of the top legislative priorities for Reps. Scott Largent, R-Clinton; Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg; and John Diehl, R-Town and Country.


Legislation signed into law Thursday will make it easier to vote for members of the military serving overseas. The bill represents one of the top legislative priorities for Reps. Scott Largent, R-Clinton; Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg; and John Diehl, R-Town and Country.

A report from the Pew Center examining the 2008 election cycle found that 16 states, including Missouri, do not allow their military men and women stationed overseas time to vote. The report suggested that sending ballots earlier and in an electronic format would better allow service members to participate in the electoral process. Under current Missouri law, election officials send a ballot to overseas voters through the mail at least 42 days before an election.

HB 1524 & 2260 addresses the concerns raised by the Pew report by requiring the Secretary of State to establish procedures for overseas voters to request voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications. Under the bill, local election officials will be able to send ballots by email at least 45 days before the election. Applications for absentee ballots and other election information also can be sent electronically.