It seems a simple bill to register more Missourians to vote wouldn’t cause much of a stir at the Capitol, but it seems Democrats don’t trust majority Republicans pushing the plan.
Missourians who apply for a hunting or a fishing permit who aren’t registered to vote would get a voter registration card in the mail from the Secretary of State’s office under HCS HB 845 sent to the Senate by the House.
Assistant Minority Floor Leader, Rep. Paul LeVota (D-Independence), wonders about what motivates the sponsor, asking how he would explain the purpose of the bill. Rep. Bob Dixon (R-Springfield) responds that that’s easy; he wants to expand the voter registration lists. Dixon says he also hopes that prompts more people to get involved in the political process.
But who that might lure into the political process is the contention between members of the two political parties. Democrats question whether Republicans are simply targeting potential voters friendly to the GOP. Republicans deny the charge, stating the "hunter-voter" should be viewed the same as "motor-voter", which allows people to register to voter when they get their driver’s licenses.
House debate got tense at times, with a few heated exchanges. Democrats wanted to broaden the bill, but Dixon kept it narrowly focused on hunters and anglers. Despite the sniping, it passes on a 118-to-39 vote, and moves for the Senate’s consideration.