A measure has passed out of the state Senate that would ask Missourians if a photo ID should be required to vote. The measure is headed back to the House. The session ends Friday.
Republicans say a photo ID would prevent voter fraud. Opponents say that voter fraud and impersonation don’t occur and the measure is an effort by Republicans to drive more conservative voters to the polls during an election year.
If passed by the House, Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) expects Missourians to support the proposal.
“I’ve heard from people in Democratic districts that say 70% of their voters say this is the right thing to do,” said Kraus. “I think overall, it will be a 70% issue.”
Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) disagrees.
“I think what you will see is African-Americans rising up to protect their right to vote,” said Nasheed. “I think that you will also see dollars going into the urban corridors to turn out the vote.”
If the measure passes in the House, Governor Nixon (D) can put the issue on the August or November ballot or call a special election.
“I think overall it’s a very important issue for Missouri voters. I don’t think it matters if it’s in August or November,” said Kraus.
Nasheed thinks voters should decide in November.
“An August election would not benefit the Democratic base,” said Nasheed. “I think the November election would benefit the Democratic base more.”
A companion bill passed last week by the legislature would have the state pay for documents for anyone that doesn’t have a photo ID. Those without photo ID could still vote if they sign a document and provide a utility bill or paycheck. Nixon could veto it but both chambers passed it with enough votes to overturn him.