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Politics

Governor Endorses Expansion of Absentee Voting

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/governoren_1324.mp3

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt announced today that he supports letting all registered voters cast an absentee ballot. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Right now, absentee voting is limited.

There are only a handful of reasons you can vote absentee.

For example, you can vote absentee if you are incapacitated, disabled or if you're going to be out of your home county on election day.

Governor Matt Blunt says he wants to change that and allow any registered voter to vote absentee.

The state's chief election official applauded the governor's proposal.

But Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says she wants to make sure absentee voters have the same privacy protections they would have on election day.

Carnahan says she plans to unveil her own comprehensive election proposal later in the legislative session.

In previous sessions, lawmakers have considered similar proposals that would have allowed pre-election day voting.

One point of contention has always been the cost.

But Governor Matt Blunt says allowing any registered voter to vote absentee won't be a burden on counties.

Blunt says he doesn't know specifically how much his proposal would cost.

Two Republican lawmakers have agreed to introduce bills containing Blunt's proposal.