For immediate release:                  May 22, 2018

Contact:                                           Maura Browning, Communications Director, (573) 526-0949

Ashcroft Applauds Legislature’s Passage of Office’s Priorities

Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft worked with the legislature this session to revise Missouri’s outdated election laws and expand the office’s Safe at Home address confidentiality program. 

Today Ashcroft said, “Every statewide office holder has a duty to lead the charge for good government, and to advocate for policy changes that will better serve Missourians. We’re appreciative the legislature acted on so many of our proposals, and I thank our staff for their hard work during the legislative session. 

“After talking with every election authority in the state, it was apparent our election laws needed to be updated to ensure they are fair, clear and concise. We also urged expansion of our Safe at Home program to be an important next step in increasing protections for nearly 2,000 survivors of abuse. We are grateful to the many legislators who worked with us on these important changes.” 

The legislature passed Senate Bill 592, which streamlines the state’s election laws, speeds up the special election process and permits the Secretary of State’s Office to work with local election authorities to ensure timely payment of election costs owed by the state. 

The bill cleans up out-of-date statutes and references, and revises the election timeline to ensure election authorities have sufficient time to provide absentee ballots. It also establishes standards in election cost estimates, so districts receive fair funding and election costs are documented for audit purposes. 

Legislators passed House Bill 1461, expanding the protections offered by the Safe at Home program, which serves survivors of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking. 

The bill adds protection for victims of any crime who fear for their safety, and expands protection for those who are living with the victim. It also increases protection for participants in a custody trial and strengthens protection for participants trying to relocate a child. 

Ashcroft also worked with legislators to pass legislation revising laws regarding the Secretary of State’s State Archives and State Library.

“I appreciate the hard work of our legislators, especially Sen. Bob Dixon, Sen. Dan Hegeman, Sen. Jeanie Riddle, Sen. Caleb Rowden, Rep. Sonya Anderson, Rep. Robert Ross and Rep. Dan Shaul, who led the effort for important legislative changes supported by our office,” Ashcroft said.

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Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.