Legislation filling the gaps in the voter photo identification law passed last year by the General Assembly and tossed out by the courts has been heard before a House committee. Representative Bill Deeken (R-Jefferson City) sponsors HB 1044 that allow currently accepted voter ID to remain in effect through September 1st of this year. After that date, photo identification would be required.
Certain exceptions would be allowed, including those for Missourians whose religions prohibit them from being photographed.
The legislation addresses one of the key concerns raised by those who objected to the voter photo ID concept: It would require the Secretary of State to pay for all forms of identification necessary to vote. This would benefit anyone without a driver’s license who claims he or she cannot afford a non-driver’s license photo ID.
The bill also repeals the provisions authorizing the state to conduct and pay for presidential primary elections.
Opponents of the legislation include the Secretary of State’s office, which claims there is no problem with voter fraud in Missouri and a fix is not needed.