ACLU Fights Wording of Early Voting Amendment

4 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, July 03 2014 Jul 3, 2014 Thursday, July 03, 2014 2:35:00 PM CDT July 03, 2014 in News
By: James Packard, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - The American Civil Liberties Union is pushing back against the wording of a proposed amendment to the constitution that would appear on the November ballot.

The amendment would allow changes to the early voting process in all general elections. According to the ACLU, the ballot would currently be worded:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including Wednesday before the election day in all general elections?

Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri, said the wording is misleading because "advance voting will only be allowed after a state appropriation and disbursement of millions of dollars." Rothert also said the amendment proposal would appear on the ballot along with a separate initiative that would allow early voting "without an appropriation contingency."

The ACLU said the proposal was not written by the Secretary of State, but rather the General Assembly. 

Kevin Flannery, Deputy Director of Communications for Secretary of State Jason Kander, said in response, "When the legislature writes the language, our office's process is ministerial." 

Jeffrey Mittman, ACLU of Missouri Executive Director, said, "citizens gathered signatures to allow early voting, but the legislature is trying to trick the voters with a sham constitutional amendment that intentionally misleads."

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