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Missouri Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove On Election-Related Bills Moving Through Legislature

 State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove is the chair of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus.
Tim Bommel
House Communications
State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove is the chair of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus.

State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Kansas City Democrat talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about election-related bills being considered in the Missouri General Assembly and other pressing issues to come in the last month of session.

Bland Manlove is the chairwoman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus. She was first elected to the Missouri House in 2018, easily winning a Democratic primary to succeed House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty. She was reelected in 2020 without serious opposition.

Here’s what Bland Manlove talked about during the show:

  • Legislation that would reinstate Missouri’s photo identification requirement to vote, which the Black Caucus is closely watching. It would allow someone without a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot. She said that’s not an acceptable alternative, as provisional ballots aren’t counted at the same time as nonprovisional ballots.
  • Efforts to make it more difficult to either put initiative petitions on the ballot or pass constitutional amendments. Some Republicans, including Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, are supporting measures that would require a two-thirds majority to place something in the Missouri Constitution.
  • The possibility that courts could force the General Assembly to fund Medicaid expansion. Republicans have argued that they don’t have to appropriate money for that measure because there wasn’t a specific funding source in the constitutional amendment that passed in 2020.

Bland Manlove is a Kansas City native whose family has been involved in Missouri politics for decades. Her grandmother, Mary Groves Bland, served in both the House and Senate representing the Kansas City area. Her uncle, Craig Bland, was a member of the House throughout the 2000s.

Before she entered the General Assembly in 2019, Bland Manlove served in the Missouri Army National Guard and worked at the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Ashley Bland Manlove: @Manlove4M

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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