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Is Photo ID Amendment Bigoted Enough to Drive Missouri Republicans to the Polls?

Categories: News, Politics
mclovin.jpg
It's me, McLovin. Can I vote now, please?
Frankly, we here at Daily RFT are a little disappointed. We'd expected something juicier.

Usually when Missouri's Republican-controlled Legislature rolls out a proposed constitutional amendment, it's something outrageously bigoted. Something that they hope will drive their base to the polls to vote on the amendment du juor and -- while they're there -- also vote for the G.O.P. candidates up for election.

It's what the Republicans did in 2004 with the Defense of Marriage Amendment that tweaked Missouri's Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. And it's what they did again in 2008 with a constitutional amendment that made English the official language of Missouri. (In case you had your doubts.)

Now that they've marginalized homosexuals and foreigners, who will the Republicans target in time for the 2012 presidential election? Let's see. They need somebody who doesn't vote for them anyway, some group that Republicans across Missouri can decry as a class unworthy of special treatment.

Blacks? Eh. Too easy.

Muslims? Hmm, not bad. Let's keep that in our pocket.

Wait, we know: How about the poor and elderly? Bingo!

Yesterday the Missouri Senate passed a bill already approved by the House, asking voters to consider a constitutional amendment requiring Missouri voters to present a valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot. The amendment will be on the November 2012 ballot, which (surprise!) happens to be the next presidential election.

Republicans passed similar legislation in 2006, which was overturned when the Missouri Supreme Court found it placed a "heavy and substantial burden on Missourians' free exercise of the right of suffrage." This time around, Republicans say the law won't be overturned because they're offering to have the state pay for the person's ID.

Critics contend that the real goal of the measure is to keep the poor -- particularly the elderly poor -- from the polls, as they tend not to have photo IDs. Coincidentally, those people generally don't vote Republican, either. (Though their votes for the opposition aren't quite as dependable as those cast by gays and immigrants.)

Yesterday, a spokesman for Missourians for Fair Elections (a coalition of groups like the NAACP, AARP and League of Women Voters) announced that they planned a campaign to educate voters to reject the constitutional amendment.

Meanwhile, the bill's sponsor Sen. Bill Stouffer (R - Napton) said the measure is simply about "making it easier to vote and harder to cheat." Nothing more.

Hmm, you buying that?

Keep up on all the latest St. Louis news and gossip by following @chadgarrison on Twitter and Daily RFT on Facebook.

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8 comments
KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

The bill is a bit redundant in the presence of provisional ballots, but with shady voter registration drives, even shadier "get out the vote" organizations, and plenty of people not registered to vote, it is probably a good idea.

Oh, and state I.D. cards cost $11. Assuming 50,000 people need them, that's $550,000 of state tax dollars. Big deal.

Markweis
Markweis

And here I thought the Republicans were for smaller government. Also for people to get an I.D, they need a copy of their birth certificate. I needed one to get my drivers license renewed. Cost me fifteen dollars. Will the state pay for that in order for you to get the required I.D?, since that is part of the voting ID.

Gillooly
Gillooly

Thank christ they didn't water it down with any language requiring an audit trail on voting machines. Election fraud is better left concentrated with the authorities, not scattered randomly amongst the proletariat.

Reo
Reo

If the Republicans only care about preventing fraud, then why aren't they allowing student id's issued by Missouri colleges as photo id? Because you forgot another group that does not vote Republican: students.

Voter impersonanation fraud has never happened in Missouri. Not once. What happens is absentee ballot fraud. The republicans are doing nothing about that. Because what kind of voters vote absentee? You are catching on.

votefreedomfirst
votefreedomfirst

Buy it? YES. Love it? YES!!! Refine it? How about mandating a photo ID and a tax return. Responsible Democracy pays for itself.

Par for the course
Par for the course

This RFT commentary is about what we've learned to expect from writers who can't, or won't, accept any action which may impact their sense of entitlement. I would think that every thinking voter would want to feel comfortable that everyone voting is legally authorized to vote. But it appears I would be mistaken, at least if Chad speaks for all Democrats. But I guess if your policies are aren't working, throwing in a little race-baiting or scaring seniors might help. Probably can't hurt any worse than the policies have been working for the past couple years.

Yep Yep Yep...
Yep Yep Yep...

As a pure independent, yes, I am buying that. There’s no doubt this bill will benefit Republicans, but I can understand why they’re upset (which is odd, because their stances usually stimulate my gag reflex slightly more than those on the left). As a voter, I was furious with the fraud that took place in the 2008, and don’t remember any instances of said fraud benefitting the right. I fail to see how this is anything more than a way of dealing with the kind of fraud that (although minimally) benefits the other party. Just seems like a way to enforce the rules to me.

kitty
kitty

If this becomes law, there goes the democra't and unions best campaign strategy:Vote Early, Vote Often, Register the Dead before they lower the coffin.

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