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Missouri Senate bill proposes new state office for election crimes, security

The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City
The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City

A bill in a Missouri Senate committee would create a state office of election crimes and security. Senator Denny Hoskins, a Republican from Warrensburg introduced the bill.

The proposed office would be under the secretary of state. It would have the power to subpoena, enter a polling place or the office of an election authority and to refer issues to the local district attorney and the state attorney general to prosecute concurrently.

Trish Vincent is the deputy secretary of state and said that there is already a unit that works on election crimes.

“Dedicating … if I’m correct a director and two people, I will tell you in the off year it will be hard to keep them busy,” Vincent said.

Critics of the bill argue that concurrent authority would overstep local authorities and that the partisan nature of the attorney general and the county clerk roles could cause issues.

To be considered on the Senate floor, the bill will first need to be approved by committee.

Alex Cox is a Junior in the Missouri School of Journalism. They're a reporter and producer for KBIA.
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