voter registration

Attempts to bring early voting to Missouri have raised funding concerns with Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door.

She said there is an early voting initiative petition under way in Missouri that would not have a funding mechanism to help counties.

The petition wants early voting six weeks prior to election day and open on Saturday and Sunday, she said.

“I don’t know how we’re supposed to fund all of that,” Door told the county commission Tuesday. “There’s no funding mechanism in it.”

That would require the county to open multiple facilities for early voting, Door said. It should be known in the next couple of months whether the initiative petition gathers enough signatures, she added.

If enough signatures are gathered, the early voting proposal would go to a vote of the people.

Door noted that there is also a bill in the Legislature to bring early voting to Missouri. She said she can support the bill and that it is a better option for early voting than what is being proposed in the petition.

The bill provides counties with some funding protection for early voting costs while the petition proposal does not, she said.

“That (the bill) would have a funding mechanism with it,” Door said. “We would get funding from the state on it.”

The Senate passed an early voting bill Monday and sent it to the House. It states that early voting would be allowed six business days prior to the election. If the bill passes, it would be subject to voter approval.

Under the bill, in-person ballots would have to be cast at the local election authority during normal business hours.

It also says that local election authorities would not be required to incur any costs for having early voting unless the state provided the funding.