Missouri Legislature Adjourns; Only Two Election Law Bills Passed All Year

On May 17, the Missouri legislature adjourned for the year.  Only two election law bills passed this year.  SB 116 makes it easier for overseas voters to register to vote and easier for them to request an absentee ballot.  The bill lets them use the internet for those purposes.

HB 110 is the other bill that passed.  It provides that if the office of Lieutenant Governor becomes vacant, a special election will be held.  Current law has been interpreted to permit the Governor to appoint a new Lieutenant Governor, although if one reads it literally, gubernatorial appointment seems unauthorized by current law.

Earlier in the year, it appeared likely that the Lieutenant Governor, Peter Kinder, would run in the special congressional election set for June 4, 2013.  He is a Republican and the Governor is a Democrat.  HB 110 was probably motivated by Republican fears that if Kinder did run, and did win, then the Governor would be able to appoint a Democrat to take his place.  As it turned out, Kinder didn’t run for Congress.  Although the bill calls for a special election to fill a vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor’s office, the special election could only be held simultaneously with a regularly-scheduled state election.   Thus it would have no effect unless the vacancy occurred during the first two years of the Lieutenant Governor’s term.

Surprisingly, no bill passed to move the February presidential primary to March.  Thus the Missouri presidential primary continues to be out of compliance with the national rules of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.  Thanks to FrontloadingHQ for this information.



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