Legislator from the Northland pre-files bill to bring early voting to Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Missouri state senator who represents part of the Northland said waiting in long lines to vote inspired a bill she pre-filed for the upcoming legislative session.

Early voting is available in Kansas. It's not in Missouri though -- unless you meet a certain set of criteria that would allow you to go in and vote absentee. Missouri is one of 12 states that doesn’t offer early voting.

State Sen. Lauren Arthur has pre-filed a bill that, if approved, would allow Missourians to request ballots be sent to their homes. They would then be able to vote and send the ballot back.

“I get the impression from standing in line and talking to my neighbors that this has broad support from people of both parties, from people of all persuasions, and I think it will go a long way into making sure that we are increasing voter participation," Arthur said.

Supporters say early voting in Johnson County, Kansas, helped in the prompt tallying of Election Day votes.

Arthur said she's skeptical the bill  will get very far in the legislative process.

"I think there is a lot of opposition among legislators," she said.

Those who have opposed the idea in the past say it could be costly -- or would allow for more voting by one party or another. Arthur disagrees.

"I don't think it would benefit necessarily one party or another. It wouldn't benefit people in the city versus rural Missouri. Everyone would benefit," she said.

FOX4 reached out to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft since he’s spoken against early voting in the past. We haven't heard back from him yet.

Lawmakers will report to Jefferson City for the start of session on Jan. 7.

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