FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Contact: Kevin Flannery, (573) 526-0949
Kander Announces Legislation on Candidate Filing for Missourians Deployed on Active Military Duty
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced that he will push for legislation that would allow deployed members of the military who wish to file as candidates for office to do so by proxy. The bill will be filed by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-Hartville) and Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis).
Missouri law currently allows only candidates who file in person on the first day of candidate filing to participate in a random drawing process to determine name placement on the ballot. Candidates serving on active military duty are often unable to file in person, and as a result are automatically placed on the ballot after all the candidates who file on the first day. With this legislation, candidates on active duty can designate a proxy for in-person filing, giving these members of the military equal opportunity to participate in the random drawing process that dictates ballot placement.
"When members of our armed forces choose to continue their public service by running for office, they should be on a level playing field with other candidates," Kander said. "I thank Representatives Dugger and Newman for introducing this bill, and I urge the legislature to take it up and pass it as the first bill this session."
If the legislation is passed in the first month of the legislative session, it would affect the 2014 filing period, allowing individuals on active duty during the filing period to designate a proxy when filing as a candidate this spring.
The bill will be introduced by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-Hartville), a member of the House Elections Committee. "As a former county clerk, I know how hard our Local Election Authorities work to make our elections run smoothly," said Dugger. "I applaud Secretary of State Kander’s willingness to work with the legislature and with election authorities to improve this process."
The bill is being co-sponsored by Representative Newman, the Elections Committee’s ranking Democrat. "This is an issue where time is of the essence, so I urge my colleagues to make this bipartisan bill the first one we send to the Governor’s desk," said Newman.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.
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