A deal between Democrats and Republicans has led to the state Senate giving initial approval to a pair of proposals that would require a photo ID for Missourians to vote. One is a bill that would create the framework to allow voter photo ID. The other is a proposed change to the state Constitution that would ask Missouri voters if a photo ID should be required to cast a ballot.
Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) and Senator Scott Sifton (D-Affton) are pleased that both sides negotiated.
“This is nowhere near I would want it, but I think a good piece of legislation is one that both sides walk away and say I’m not happy with exactly the way it looks but it’s something I can live with,” said Kraus.
“And that the process improved the legislation,” said Sifton. “We don’t always get to yes. Sometimes we vote no. Sometimes we sit down and vote no. Sometimes we don’t sit down. Sometimes we don’t sit down that quickly. That’s just how this place works.”
“Even if you’re in the minority, I’m not saying the minority party. I’m saying the minority of any issue. You have the ability to influence the direction of legislation,” said Kraus.
Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) praised Republicans who came to the negotiating table.
“I’m against the underlying bill. I’m against the bill that we started, but I am for this Senate being healthy,” said Holsman. “I am for the functioning process of discussing issues to get to a point where both sides aren’t crazy about the idea.”
Under the measures, a driver’s license would be free to those who do not have proper ID. Those without photo ID could still vote if they sign a document and provide another form of ID, like a utility bill or paycheck. The voter could also cast a provisional ballot, which would count if the voter could later prove their identity.
The measures have been sent to a committee to assess the cost to implement the proposed changes. They need one more favorable vote to head back to the House.