Ashcroft’s legislative priorities go into effect today
Many of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s legislative priorities were passed late in this year’s condensed legislative session, solidifying remote notary law and granting the secretary of state subpoena power during investigations of election complaints.
These laws go into effect today, Aug. 28, 2020.
Notary modernization passed as an attachment to HB 1655. It encourages the use of modern technology
for the convenience and safety of Notaries Public and those who need notary services. It provides three
options for notarization – in-person notary on paper, in-person electronic notary and remote electronic
notary. The original sponsors of notary legislation were Sen. Bill White and Rep. David Gregory.
“I’m pleased with the progress we made during the final days of the session,” Ashcroft said. “Remote
notary provides a safe and effective option to have documents notarized. A wide variety of associations
came together to support this bill, and I appreciate the legislature’s work to pass this priority.”
Ashcroft also promoted changes to election law, and two provisions were approved by the House and
Senate as amended to HB 631. The changes ensure the secretary is not obligated to accept filing fees on
behalf of a political party, and requires candidates to pay filing fees directly to their party. It also grants
subpoena power to the secretary of state – for documents only – to investigate election complaints. Prior
to this amendment, the secretary of state could only request documents and had no recourse if
documents were not provided.
HB 1655, sponsored by Rep. Hannah Kelly, included certain provisions related to the State Archives. The
amendments to state law will modernize the process of making the General Assembly original rolls
available for public viewing and removes an outdated requirement to print 45,000 copies of the Missouri
Constitution as it is available electronically and online, and reduces the length of time death records are
made public from 50 to 25 years.