A new effort is being made in the legislature to make Missouri voters show an official photo-ID card before they can vote.

The state supreme court has thrown out the law passed in 2006 so now Representative Stanley Cox of Sedalia wants to have voters amend the constitution to require voter photo-identification.

But he runs into opposition from Representative Ed Wildberger of St. Joseph who recalls then-Secretary of State Matt Blunt declared Missouri’s elections were being run with no problems. But Cox takes then-Secretary Matt Blunt’s comment with a grain of salt. He says the inclination of any Secretary of State is to report that “everything under my watch is just perfectly fine.”

Cox says the present law leaves Missouri open to voter fraud unless the bill is passed. He points to the present law that lets a person show a current utility bill as a means of identification.

But even one of his own witnesses says the problem is not at the polling place—but in the county clerk’s office when the voter registers and can claim to be someone else. Present law does not require photo-ID for registration. But Cox’s proposal focuses on the polling place, leading Wildberger to note Cox is asking the legislature to fix something that is not broken.

A House committee is studying Cox’s proposal.


Download Bob Priddy’s story (:60 mp3)