The Senate has debated for the second time in a week whether to set up the structure to allow voter photo ID in Missouri, but Democrats have again held the floor to prevent a vote. Democrats say the legislation would take away the voting rights of individuals who do not have an ID.
Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) says the legislation is an attack on the Voting Rights Act.
“I really want folks to understand how serious of an issue this is for many in our districts – the fear that is evoked when we talk about rolling back in any way voters’ rights that we fought so hard for,” said Curls. “This was a major part of the Civil Rights Movement back in the 1960s and it is interesting that we find ourselves here in 2016 still having the same discussion. Of course, there were many other things we were fighting for back in the 60s but this was a huge part of it.”
Republicans argue the photo ID requirement would fight election fraud. Bill sponsor Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) hopes Republicans won’t have to use a procedural move, known as the previous question, to force a vote on his proposal.
“I think that we can craft a bill that will make sure that it protects everyone’s votes and I’m working with certain people on the Democrat side to get this bill to the finish line without a previous question,” said Kraus.
Senators have not debated a companion proposal that would ask voters if the constitution should be amended to require an ID at the polls.
“I thought I would just allow them (Senators) the opportunity to discuss the bill. The joint resolution is pretty simple. There are very few lines and not much to discuss. The joint resolution is our priority and we’ve let the minority party know that,” said Kraus.
A vote on the measures could lead Democrats to slow business in the Senate.