Letter to the Editor

Impact of primary repeal

I am concerned about the negative impact of Missouri House Bill 1878 and the dreadful burdens it places on voters who wish to participate in the upcoming presidential primary. This partisan, Republican-sponsored bill went into effect in August 2022 and it "repealed" the presidential primary system in Missouri.

Now, rather than having a secure election run by state and local authorities, their trained staff, and paid volunteers, held at convenient polling locations throughout the state open to all Missouri voters, each political party must devise, conduct and pay for its own presidential primary election. This "repeal" provision will effectively reduce the accessibility, fairness and transparency of our electoral system and poses a threat to our democracy.

How many citizens in Cape Girardeau County even know presidential primaries are being conducted in March? I suspect there are very few who are aware of this new process which, unfortunately, seems to be an intended consequence of HB 1878 -- to ensure that only the political elite participate. Zero Democrats voted for this electoral fiasco.

In response, Democrats are implementing a combination of mail-in balloting before election day and in-person voting from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 23. For Democratic and undeclared (independent) voters in Cape Girardeau County, there will be one polling location at Shawnee Park Center. If you are interested in participating, please look for details at capedems.com. In addition, statewide Missouri Democratic Party voting details can be found at missouridemocrats.org.

ANDY LEIGHTON, Cape Girardeau