Outgoing Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) used an opening day address Wednesday at the Statehouse in Jefferson City to criticize House Republicans over photo ID.
Kander, who lost a Senate race in November to incumbent Roy Blunt (R) by 78,000 votes, asked Republicans not to “overstep” on the issue of voting rights. He says photo ID bills can disenfranchise voters, and brought up North Carolina.
“In North Carolina, an 86-year-old woman went to the DMV to get an ID that she didn’t need,” Kander said at the dais. “But she was going to need it if she was going to vote, so she set out to get it. She was turned away from the DMV because she couldn’t prove her maiden name.”
Kander suggests that Republicans will try to strengthen Missouri’s voter ID law. In September, the GOP-controlled Legislature overrode Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a bill requiring a photo ID to vote. Missourians approved a voter ID constitutional amendment in November.
“Today (Wednesday) is the first day of the legislative session. That law has not yet taken effect,” Kander says. “And yet already there are folks saying they want to go back on their word and they want to go further to possibly restrict the rights of Missouri voters.”
Kander told the House that if they follow the example of Wisconsin and North Carolina, he would “see them in court.”
State Rep. Justin Alferman (R-Hermann), who sponsored photo ID, tweeted Wednesday that it was “disgusting that Jason Kander is taking the dias to chastise the General Assembly on Voter ID. Voters have spoken, you’re wrong.”
State Rep. Travis Fitzwater (R-Holts Summit) tweeted during Kander’s address, saying that Kander’s “partisan soapbox” was inappropriate and was “another example of why Democrats lost so big in 2016.”
Kander, who served two terms in the Missouri House from January 2009 to December 2012, will leave office as Secretary of State on Monday.