House committee calls for special session to pass voting legislation

GRACE ZOKOVITCH
MISSOURI NEWS NETWORK

With the legislative session ending without the passage of controversial voting and election overhaul, House Republicans are looking to the governor to keep the fight alive.

Republican members of the House Committee on Elections and Elected Officials called for the governor to convene a special session in order to allow the legislature to address several election and voting bills. Two days ahead of the session’s close, this call speaks to some representatives’ lack of faith in these high-profile bills’ momentum in the Senate.

The bills in question — notably voter-id requirementsinitiative petition restrictions and mail-in and absentee ballot changes — have received much attention and controversy this session.

Hours after the House members released their statement, senators took up a new proposal that would address several of those issues. They were still debating late Wednesday night.

The news release cited the importance of these bills in relation to the “discrepancies and issues with the election process in several states” throughout the 2020 presidential election, though they noted confidence in the last election’s process in Missouri. Accusations of large-scale discrepancies and issues related to voter fraud and election tampering in the 2020 election have been widely found false.

Despite the increased attention and push drawn from the national conversation, Missouri has not passed any bills related to major election or voting reforms, unlike many other Republican-majority states including Georgia, Florida and several others.

Chairperson of the committee Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, attributed their lack of success to the Senate leadership, noting that the bills have already passed out of the House.

Missouri’s Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has supported measures like photo-ID requirements and initiative petition overhaul and tweeted his support for the representatives’ call.

“While the Missouri Senate should pass this now, if they don’t, I wholeheartedly support calls on the governor to order a special session for election reform,” Ashcroft said.