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Disagreements over a new congressional district map could lead state legislators to try to delay the Aug. 2 Primary Election.

Filings open Feb. 22 for federal, state and county offices.

Senate Bill 663, which would establish new district lines for Missouri’s eight U.S. House members, needs to pass the legislature with an emergency clause to go into effect before the August primary election.

However, the clause must receive a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and House to pass. The House rejected the clause, and senators are running out of time to reach an agreement before candidates start filing for their elections Feb. 22.

The Senate could approve the map without the clause, but if that happens, the bill would not go into effect until Aug. 28, after the election. If the Senate approves the map without an emergency clause, said Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia. He said legislators may try to push the primary election back.

“We have a relatively early (primary),” he said. “So there’s other options out there. Again, we’re just trying to find the path to get it done.”

But moving the primary election would create enormous challenges for elections officials. After the primary election, local and state officials have about four weeks to certify results in preparation for the November General Election. Very soon after that, absentee voting starts in mid-September.

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