Dear Citizens– During the 2022 legislative session the Missouri General Assembly approved a bill designed to ensure safe, secure elections with timely, accurate results. HB 1878 has been signed in to law which will require Missourians to present a photo ID when they go to vote, but will also allow people without a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot. In order for the provisional ballot to be counted, election officials would have to verify the voter’s signature based on voter records, or the voter would need to return later that day with a valid form of identification.
The bill also requires the use of hand-marked paper ballots rather than electronic voting machines, mandates the use of air-gapped election equipment that prevents the possibility of electronic manipulation, authorizes the Secretary of State to audit election results, and requires all election authorities or political subdivisions to have cybersecurity reviews. The bill also allows no-excuse absentee voting up to two weeks prior to the date of an election, bans private donations to fund elections, and eliminates the Presidential Preference Primary and establishes Missouri as a caucus state.
In signing the bill, Gov. Parson said, “In 2020 and years prior, Missouri has conducted free, fair, and secure elections, but with changing technologies and new emerging threats, we want to ensure they remain that way. HB 1878 strengthens our election processes and gives Missourians confidence that their voices are being accurately and securely recorded at the ballot box.”
The bill’s sponsor added, “Our election system is a cornerstone of our Republic. Faith and confidence in the process is a solemn responsibility by voters themselves and those conducting elections. A photo ID requirement is but one common sense measure the vast majority of Missourians support.”
Broadband Update: Also recently signed in to law is SB 820, which is meant to help Missourians in all parts of the state have access to reliable broadband internet. The bill modifies the Broadband Internet Grant Program to expand broadband internet access in unserved and underserved areas of the state to include improving the reliability of broadband in such areas. It specifies that grants awarded under the program will prioritize projects providing speeds of at least 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload that is scalable to higher speeds, or the minimum acceptable speed established by the Federal Communications Commission. Additionally, it requires the Department of Economic Development to implement a program to increase high-speed internet access in unserved and underserved areas. It also authorizes the state to seek the return of broadband funding from any provider that defaults or breaches agreements to deploy broadband and establishes the “Vertical Real Estate Act” to allow political subdivisions to erect towers and other broadband infrastructure and to join or participate in public-private partnerships to effectuate the construction of vertical real estate and towers. The bill also exempts solar energy systems that are purchased and installed by a solar energy company from sales tax, and prohibits deeds, covenants, or other binding agreements that limit or prohibit property owners from installing solar panels on their rooftops.
Missouri to Host 2026 World Cup Games (SB 652) – Kansas City was recently selected to serve as a host city for the 2026 World Cup and a key component to the city being selected was a piece of legislation approved by the Missouri General Assembly. That bill was recently signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson to exempt 2026 FIFA World Cup tickets from Missouri state and local sales taxes.
At the recent bill signing, Gov. Parson said, “We are thrilled that Kansas City has been chosen as a host city for the 2026 World Cup, and we are signing this legislation today to show our appreciation and fulfill our obligation as good hosts.” He added, “Not only will we welcome hundreds of thousands of fans but also hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to the Kansas City region and Missouri. Kansas City is at the heart of our nation’s heartland and, as the only host city in the Midwest, will be a proud representative of Midwestern hospitality and our sports loving traditions. We look forward to welcoming the world to Kansas City to help deliver the largest World Cup in history.”
The ticket sales tax exemption was a requirement for Kansas City to be selected a 2026 World Cup host city, which is expected to generate nearly $700 million in economic activity for the region.
For more information, contact Representative Patricia Pike at Patricia.Pike@house.mo.gov or call 573-751-5388.