Governor Nixon, in a news release, says SB3 – better known as the voter ID bill unfairly excludes some people from voting. “This new mandate would disproportionately impact senior citizens and person with disabilities, among others who are qualified to vote and have been lawfully voting since becoming eligible to do so, but are less likely to have a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID.”
Bill Stouffer is the sponsor of the bill, and he says that’s just not true. He says he was proud that this issue, which as been debated for years, finally had support from both parties and both chambers.
Nixon says the bill makes it too complicated for disabled people or senior citizens, who may not have a valid photo ID to explain why they don’t have an ID. Stouffer says he sampled the Secretary of State’s list of those who would be disenfranchised by this, and found that only about ten percent of those people would actually be affected.
Stouffer says the bill protects against voter fraud, and carried companion legislation that would have placed the issue on the November 2012 ballot for Missouri voters to decide on. Missourians will still be able to vote on making a voter ID requirement a constitutional amendment in 2012, but unless this veto is overridden or the bill gets approval next year, voters will be deciding on a concept, and will not have the specific points of the law to look at first.
House Speaker Steven Tilley, also a Republican, agreed with Stouffer. Tilley says he was extremely disappointed by the governor’s decision to veto legislation he says was designed to protect the sanctity of our elections process. He, like Stouffer, says it’s frustrating because the veto undoes months of work by legislators who put together a compromise on a long-debated issue.
Tilley says, “If we’re going to be serious about preventing voter fraud, we need to require photo identification at the polling place. It is my intent to work with my colleagues to once again override one of the governor’s vetoes.”
Read the Governor’s veto letter here.
Read SB3 here.
Read Senate Joint Resolution 2 here.