FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Contact: Kevin Flannery, (573) 526-0949
Kander Applauds Approval of Military Candidate Filing Legislation
Bipartisan Legislation Will Go into Effect for 2014 Candidate Filing
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today applauded the General Assembly’s approval and Gov. Nixon’s signing of his legislation that levels the playing field for members of the military who run for public office. Deployed service members who are seeking public office will now be able to designate a friend or family member to serve as their substitute and participate in the random drawing that determines the order in which names will appear on the ballot. Kander worked with sponsors of his legislation, Sen. Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau) in the Senate and Reps. Tony Dugger (R-Hartville) and Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) in the House, to make sure the bill was the first to pass out of the General Assembly and become law this year.
"This legislation is a simple fix that passed just in time for candidate filing, which opens next week," Kander said. "I’m proud to have partnered with Sen. Wallingford, Reps. Dugger and Newman to get this bill across the finish line, and I look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to ensure that those serving our country are afforded equal opportunities in the election process."
Previously, Missouri law permitted only candidates who appeared in person on the first day of candidate filing to participate in the random drawing that determines name order on the ballot. The requirement excluded deployed members of the military from having the same chance to have their name first on the ballot—something many consider a competitive advantage.
"I am pleased to see that candidates who serve our country will no longer potentially be at a disadvantage for no other reason than their inability to file in person," Wallingford said. "I’m proud to work with the secretary of state to ensure our election process is fair for all candidates."
"Not only is this an important elections reform, but it also is a great example of how people can work together," Dugger said. "Members of the House and Senate joined Secretary Kander and local election authorities to ensure this much needed change is in place before the first day of candidate filing for the 2014 election cycle."
"As the Ranking Member of the House Elections Committee, I am proud to see this bipartisan bill become the first bill approved by my colleagues and signed into law this session," Newman said.
The bill, HB 1125, goes into effect immediately. Candidate filing for the 2014 election opens on February 25, 2014.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.
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