Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) is again proposing that Missouri voters be required to show a photo ID. He said 16 people have pled guilty or been convicted of voter fraud in Missouri in the last ten years.
“That shows a history of people trying to cheat the system,” said Kraus. “You need an ID to buy tobacco or a library card but yet you don’t need an ID to prove who you are to vote for our elected officials.”
ACLU Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman said such a law would create barriers for poor, elderly, disabled or student voters.
“These bills, quite frankly, are not about voter fraud. These bills are about disenfranchisement,” said Mittman. “These bills are a cynical effort to put barriers in the ways of those that legislators believe don’t support their viewpoint.”
Kraus disagrees and said a provisional ballot with a signature matching the voter’s signature at the polls could count.
“I think the people that are being disenfranchised are the voters whose vote is diminished because someone is cheating the system,” said Kraus. “I don’t believe this disenfranchises anyone.”
Mittman said the bill is undemocratic and un-American.
“People don’t need to be checked up on as citizens to have artificial barriers placed in the way of their fundamental right to participate in the democratic process,” said Mittman.
A previous Missouri voter photo ID law was ruled unconstitutional, so Republicans are proposing a ballot initiative that would ask voters to change the Constitution to allow for voter photo ID along with a bill that would create the structure for voter photo ID if the initiative passes.