NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF MISSOURI GOVERNOR JAY NIXON
Gov. Nixon signs legislation to help deployed members of the military seek elected office
Military members filing for office will be able to designate a proxy for the drawing establishing the order of candidate names on the ballot
Jefferson City – Gov. Jay Nixon was joined today by Secretary of State Jason Kander, Sen. Will Kraus, Sen. Wayne Wallingford and Rep. Tony Dugger for the signing of House Bill 1125, which helps members of the military file for elected office.
“Candidates who wish to serve in state or local government should not be put at a disadvantage because they have also chosen to bravely serve our country,” Gov. Nixon said. “This bipartisan legislation levels the playing field for our military members so that they have the opportunity to pursue back home what they have already demonstrated in uniform – a commitment to service.”
House Bill 1125 allows members of the military on active duty, or persons unable to appear in person because of physical disability, who have filed to run for elected office to designate a proxy to participate in their place during the random drawing on filing day that determines where their name will appear on the ballot.
“This is a simple legislative fix that will allow members of our armed forces who choose to continue their public service by running for office to be on a level playing field with other candidates,” Secretary of State Kander said. “I thank Sen. Wallingford and Reps. Dugger and Newman for filing this bill, and I will be proud to stand with Gov. Nixon as he signs it into law in time for the first day of candidate filing next week.”
“I appreciate the legislature getting this bipartisan bill to my desk in time for the beginning of candidate filing on the 25th, and look forward to seeing our men and women in uniform take advantage of this opportunity.” Gov. Nixon said. “I also want to thank Rep. Tony Dugger for sponsoring this bipartisan legislation and Sen. Will Kraus who handled it in the Senate.”
“The service and sacrifice of members of the armed forces should never be an obstacle to opportunity upon their return,” Rep. Dugger said. “I was proud to sponsor this legislation supporting the brave men and women in uniform who wish to continue their service in elected office.”
“We deeply appreciate and value Missouri’s military men and women who continue to serve our country with honor,” Sen. Kraus said. “This legislation ensures that they have the same opportunity as any other candidate to have their name placed fairly on the ballot.”
“Missourians who serve in our military stand on the front line to protect our freedoms and our rights, including the right to the ballot box,” said Sen. Wallingford, who sponsored a companion bill in the Senate. “I am proud that the General Assembly took this step in a unanimous and bi-partisan manner.”
Filing for the Aug. 5, 2014 primary election opens on Feb. 25 at 8 a.m. and closes on March 25 at 5 p.m.
Candidates for state offices must file in person with the Secretary of State. However, members of the armed services on active duty may file by certified mail.
Candidates filing in person on the first day select a number by random drawing to determine placement of their name on the primary ballot. After the first day, candidates are placed on the ballot in the order of their filing.
Prior to HB 1125, members of the armed services on active duty running for office, or persons unable to appear in person because of physical disability, were unable to participate in this random drawing and may have been listed lastly on the ballot.
This legislation goes into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature.