An attempt to raise awareness about Missouri’s new requirement that voters present photo identification before casting a ballot in November is underway by the state officeholder who opposed the idea. And even as Secretary of State Robin Carnahan travels the state, the Department of Revenue continues to assure Missourians it has enough time to get proper identification in the hands of everyone who wants to vote in November. The Department of Revenue is within the Blunt Administration. Governor Blunt and Secretary of State Carnahan have been at odds over the requirement, an issue that divided state government along party lines. Blunt, and fellow Republicans, say the requirement will reduce the chances for voter fraud. Carnahan, and fellow Democrats, insist it’s a solution seeking a problem; that Republicans have yet to prove voter fraud is a real problem in the state. Republicans used their majority status in the House and Senate to approve the measure this session and send it to Blunt for his signature. The photo ID requirement begins with the November elections. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed suit against the new law, claiming the legislature violated the constitution by not appropriating money for local governments to carry out its provisions. The new law calls on the Secretary of State’s office to notify voters about the new requirement. The Department of Revenue is required to issue photo identification without charge to those who lack a driver’s license or passport, both of which can be used to fulfill the new requirement. Carnahan is traveling to Maplewood, Kansas City, Springfield and Jefferson City to raise awareness about the new requirement. Carnahan is calling her office’s initiative “Show Your Face at the Polls”. It will include public service announcements in the media to make Missourians aware of the change. The Department of Revenue will dispatch 25 mobile units to issue photo identification to those who don’t have it, especially senior citizens living in nursing homes. The Revenue Department estimates there are 170,000 voting-age Missourians who don’t have a driver’s license or other photo identification. A spokesman for the Revenue Department says he doesn’t expect all 170,000 to either want photo identification or to be eligible to vote for various reasons.
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