Missouri House votes against open primaries, ranked voting

March 30, 2022 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s Republican-led House on Wednesday advanced a rival constitutional amendment to block a push for open primaries and ranked-choice voting.

Lawmakers gave their ballot measure initial approval in a voice vote. Another vote is needed to send the proposal to the GOP-led Senate, which is moving at a glacial pace this year amid Republican infighting.

If passed by both chambers, the measure would go before voters for final consideration.

The legislative proposal is in direct opposition to another group’s effort to radically change how Missouri handles elections for statewide candidates, lawmakers and U.S. Congress.

The bipartisan Better Elections campaign has proposed a constitutional amendment that would give voters the option to pick from both Republicans and Democrats during primaries. Currently, voters can either choose to nominate one candidate from a pool of either all Republicans or all Democrats.

In the general election, voters then could vote for either their No. 1 choice or rank their picks from a pool of the four highest-vote-getting candidates from the primary.