On May 16, the Missouri legislature passed HB 1036, which removes party logos from general election ballots. A party logo is a cartoon-like symbol of each political party. They were common on ballots a century ago, to assist voters who could not read.
Some years ago, the Missouri Libertarian Party had been irritated that the Democratic Party’s logo in Missouri was the Statue of Liberty, which in other states is the Libertarian logo. So the Missouri Libertarian Party chose a donkey for its logo. Finally the Democrats relented and gave up the Statute of Liberty, and then the Libertarians also switched and started using the Statute of Liberty.
The bill was passed because county election officials had determined that some voters were circling the logo at the top of the ballot and not casting any other votes for candidates. Apparently these voters believed the logos were a straight ticket device.
Various other election law bills failed to pass, and the legislature has now adjourned. HB 1046, which would have required parties to submit birth certificates for presidential candidates, failed to pass. The National Popular Vote Plan bill, HB 1719, didn’t make any headway. A bill to reinstate straight-ticket devices, HB 1415, also never made any headway. HB 1060, the bill to increase candidate filing fees for the presidential primary from $1,000 to $5,000, made considerable headway, but in the end never had a vote in the Senate. Missouri and Arizona are two states this year in which it seemed likely bills to make ballot access more difficult in presidential primaries would pass, yet in both states they didn’t pass.
As noted earlier this month, the ballot access improvement bill did pass, although it has still not been signed by the Governor.