Mo. bill lets military ballots arrive late

Thursday, February 12, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Absentee ballots from military members serving overseas would have more time to arrive in Missouri under a bill supported by the state's top election official.

The legislation allows those ballots to arrive seven days after an election and still be counted. Ballots must still be postmarked by Election Day. The bill also allows service members to receive their ballots by fax or e-mail.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic House member Stephen Webber of Columbia, a Marine who served in Iraq. He says his 2006 ballot was not counted because of mail delays.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says 471 military absentee ballots were rejected by election officials last year because they arrived after Election Day. Her office says more than 30 other states have similar laws in place.

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