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Veteran Missouri state senator wants to see paper ballots and hand-counting

Veteran Missouri state senator wants to see paper ballots and hand-counting

State Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring) speaks on the Missouri Senate floor in Jefferson City on January 11, 2022 (file photo courtesy of Harrison Sweazea at Senate Communications)

Legislation requiring paper ballots and the hand-counting of ballots has been filed by a veteran Missouri lawmaker.

State Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring), who chairs the Senate General Laws Committee, also wants to eliminate most voting machines.

“We hand counted ballots in this country the first 200 years of our existence. In every other modern democracy of the world, they’re hand-counting ballots. When we got away from that, I think it started back in the 2000 (presidential) election, you remember the election of the hanging chads down in Florida. We started thinking that the world would be better if we had the machines doing it,” Eigel says.

Senator Eigel’s Senate Bill 98 would allow for the use of voting machines for individuals with disabilities.

“Protecting our elections, security our elections. Again, that’s protecting our rights, that’s being the defender of our securities, our rights and our freedoms. And I think that’s a powerful message not just in a group like this in Columbia, but all over the state,” says Eigel.

His bill would also require all ballots to contain a watermark of the seal of Missouri in the top right-hand corner, and the ballots would have to be produced in the United States. He’s hopeful his bill will be approved in the Senate, which has a 24-10 GOP supermajority.

Senator Eigel spoke recently before a standing-room only audience in Columbia. He’s also unveiled an $8-billion plan to rebuild heavily-traveled I-70 from Wentzville to Blue Springs, making it four lanes in each direction.