At a debate hosted by PoliticMo and the University of Missouri-Columbia College Republicans over the weekend, State Sen.'s Scott Rupp and Bill Stouffer - both challenging Schoeller for the Republican party's nomination for secretary of state - said they believe Schoeller's legislation could limit voting rights for members of the military.
"When it first came out, you saw national veterans groups saying this is bad legislation because it is going to keep the military overseas from being able to vote," said Rupp, a St. Louis Republican. "Those people that are overseas fighting to protect our right to vote should have no obstacles to vote."
Stouffer, who was notably less direct, said, "we have to protect the rights of our fighting force."
The two echoed criticisms charged by VoteVets, a Democrat-leaning veterans group which organized an online petition drive criticizing Schoeller's bill.
On stage Saturday, Schoeller (R-Willard, MO) said he planned to clarify the language, but would "make no apologies" for trying to prevent voter fraud.
"We're going to make sure when you send an absentee ballot, you have every opportunity to protect yourself," Schoeller said.
State Rep. Jason Kander, D-Kansas City, Schoeller's likely opponent, visited Schoeller's hometown over the weekend to announce his opposition to the law.
Schoeller's law would require individuals to mail in a copy of their photo identification both when requesting and sending in a ballot. Individuals could also have a designee deliver their ballot to local election officials.
"We all honor the men and women who serve overseas," he said. "Nobody would want to take away their opportunity to cast their ballot."