Missouri’s elections could include a photo ID requirement to vote. After several hours of debate, the state House of Representatives gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would require Missourians to show a photo ID at the polls.

The legislation is sponsored by state Representative Peggy McGaugh, R-Carrollton.

Missouri Capitol

“Democracy depends on trust,” said McGaugh. “Our constituents deserve the ability to trust election law without having seeds of doubt sewn to make them wary. Voters should not have to worry about elections being manipulated by a system that they feel is rigged, because any votes that are not rightfully cast dilutes the vote of a rightfully registered and identified voter.”

State Representative Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, successfully added language that would let voters within a school district decide if transgender athletes born as males can play in female sports.

“Sounds like local control,” said Basye. “I am very, very confident that there are a lot of people in this state, children, parents, and other citizens that feel that they don’t have a voice in this because they’re afraid to speak out. I want to let them know that I’m speaking for them and I’m proud to speak for them,” he said.

Representative Ian Mackey, D-St. Louis, was fired up over the amendment. Mackey is openly gay.

“I was afraid of people like you growing up and I grew up in Hickory County, Missouri. I grew up in a school district that would vote tomorrow to put this in place,” said Mackey. “I couldn’t wait to move to a part of our state that would reject this stuff in a minute. Thank God I made it out. I think every day of the kids who are still there who haven’t made it out who haven’t escaped from this kind of bigotry. Gentlemen, I’m not afraid of you anymore. Because you’re going to lose. You may win this today, but you’re going to lose.”

Missouri House Democratic Leader Crystal Quade, of Springfield, said she wishes lawmakers “would do better.”

“We are more worried about our elections and our future than the people we were sent here to serve,” Quade said. “We spent so long talking about something that has been identified would affect about less than 20 children in our state. The own amendment sponsor mentioned when the lady from Jackson was inquiring what school districts have you heard from that this is a problem – to which he said none.”

Under the bill, voters without IDs could cast a provisional ballot – and their vote would only count if the voter returned to the polling place with a photo ID or if an election judge can match a voter’s signature to one on file.

The plan would also authorize the Secretary of State to audit voter registration lists and require election authorities to remove improper names.

One more vote of support would send House Bill 2140 to the Senate.

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