The state House of Representatives has passed legislation laying out the framework for voter photo ID and a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow it to become law.
The amendment would go to voters if approved by the Senate. House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) is asked whether he is concerned that the legislation didn’t receive a total of “yes” votes as high as it would need to be to overturn a veto by the Governor.
“I think on this particular issue, you saw several of our members were not here today due to various other commitments and things going on with family. I’m pretty confident those missing members will vote in favor of the bill. I think the enabling legislation is one that we will be willing to challenge the Governor on.”
Part of the debate on Thursday followed up on an eye-opening statement from Wednesday night, when Representative Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) said, “Jim Crow is alive in this room today This is the single most immoral act that I’ve ever seen happen in my time in the general assembly.”
Representative Nick Marshall (R-Parkville) asked Kelly to explain his statement and said it implicated supporters of the voter photo ID amendment of having racist motives.
Kelly said he made the statement because of the effect of the proposals if they pass.
“Who is affected most seriously by this bill, and who votes Democratic like troopers? Poor black women. The effect of the bill is indisputably racial. I don’t say the motive is racial.”
Kelly said the backers of the bill have not proven that voter fraud is a problem.
“I encourage you that when you bring profound legislation to the floor of this body that you have some intellectual basis for it other than anecdotal fairy tales.”
The legislative black caucus has said it will do everything it can to block voter photo ID in the Senate, including the suggestion of a filibuster if it reaches the Senate floor.