A proposal that would establish how voter photo ID would work in Missouri is in the hands of Governor Jay Nixon (D).
The bill would set up the system for requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls. It would allow those who lack one to sign a document swearing, under penalty of perjury, that they don’t have one at all – in which case they would be allowed to vote, and the state would pay the costs to get them one.
Like any other bill Nixon could veto it, sign it into law, or allow it to become law without acting on it. He told reporters he doesn’t support requiring a photo ID to vote.
“It’s not a concept I look at, ‘How can I make this work?’ It is a concept I disagree with,” said Nixon. “Voter ID – everybody knows that I think you should make it easier for people to vote, and I just have a hard time with people thinking you’re going to move a democracy forward by making it more difficult for people vote, especially people who don’t drive.”
A separate measure asks voters whether Missouri’s Constitution should be changed to allow the photo ID requirement. If voters reject that change, the bill creating the voter photo ID system will not go into effect.
Nixon must decide whether that will be voted on in August or November. He hasn’t decided which ballot he’ll put it on but says he wants it to be when the most people are expected at the polls, so the greatest number of voters possible will have a say.
“If we’re going to talk about changing in the Constitution about how people can vote then my initial reaction – I’ve not made a decision – but my initial deferral position is, how can we do this in a way to give the most people the chance for their voices to be heard,” said Nixon.
Republicans say requiring a photo ID to vote will prevent some types of fraud. Democrats say it’s not necessary and will disenfranchise many voters.