Legislature Considers Competing Voting Proposals

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers are set to debate two absentee-voting measures as the legislature's current session continues its final week.

The legislature's version of an early-voting bill was approved by the senate yesterday morning and is headed back to the house for approval. The measure would amend the constitution and allow voters to cast ballots during normal business hours on six different business days before election day.

But some Democrats said the bill is too limited and proposed a competing petition that would allow a six-week absentee-voting period and voting on weekends for the final 21 days before an election. Supporters of that petition said they gathered over 300,000 signatures of support.

Lawmakers countered an absentee voting period lasting that long would cost too much, especially if voting is allowed on weekends. They said the legislature's plan is more cost-effective.