Photo ID Bill in Missouri? Controversial Proposal Sparks Voter Suppression Criticism

Newman says that there are 250,000 rightful voters in the state who could be disenfranchised by this effort -- people who have a right to cast ballots and have been doing so, but might not have access to the required photo IDs.

"It is incredulous," she says. "People need to know voter suppression is alive and well in Missouri."

Supporters of the measure argue that photo IDs help prevent voter fraud and that the legislation is set up to help those without IDs obtain proper documentation.

But Newman says it can be difficult to get documents needed and that there is wide acceptance across the country that these measures mostly just burden and disenfranchise legitimate voters.

"I'm going to be asking tomorrow, 'Why don't you care about these 250,000 people no longer able to vote?' What did they do wrong?'" she says.

People who could be impacted by the policy are generally those who do not have driver's licenses.

"These are people who no longer drive or never had a reason to drive," Newman says. "Should people using public transportation in Missouri be considered a bad thing?"

She says it is likely that if Republican leadership push this proposal through, there will be an amendment in the November 2014 ballot.

But Democrats will uniformly oppose, she adds. "We stick together on this."

Here are the draft bills.

HJR 5

House Bill 48

More from our Politics archive: "Guns: Christian County Sheriff Wants to Arm Missouri Teachers, Increase School Safety"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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34 comments
smdrpepper
smdrpepper

How about the republicans stop trying to mess with voting laws and gerrymandering and actually DO something that helps the country?  Yes, we all know your all butt sore about losing the election, but rigging the vote is taking things to the extreme.

What this ends up being is a poll tax which is illegal and unconstitutional.  You have to pay to get ID.

Andrew Raimist
Andrew Raimist

This is not worth a Constitutional Amendment!! Please do something about employment, education and healthcare, not bogus issues like this.

Michael Allen
Michael Allen

Paranoid? No. The outcome of these bills has been documented numerous times, and their true intent is clear; see Stephanie's links above for starters. Of course you haven't seen anyone turned away yet—Missouri is pretty lax regarding which forms of ID they'll accept at the polls, as are most other states. Yet even without voters being required to submit a long form birth certificate, buccal swab, and retinal scan, the actual incidence of voter fraud is astronomically low. Like, ridiculously, stupidly low. So low, in fact, that it's somewhere in the neighborhood of exactly 10 alleged incidents of in-person fraud out of the 600 million votes cast since 2000. (Link below.) Democrats are too inept at throwing elections to attempt anything this insidious; besides, the GOP cornered the ratfucking market decades ago. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/13/gop-voter-id-data-voter_n_1773142.html

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

No ID required. Let's let teenagers walk up and claim they are 18 years old. Maybe Bieber will be the next president. Let's let Canadians coming down to Florida for the winter decide who should be elected into office. There is no reason why we should limit ourselves to having just American adults deciding who should run the country and raise taxes. 

Joe Gutknecht
Joe Gutknecht

@michael allen...You seem to be just a bit too paranoid that somehow minorities have a hard time voting. I live in a predominantly Black neighborhood, and never in my 25 years here at any of the elections..(I voted or worked the polls in almost Every election)....Have I Ever seen ANY Minority Voter turned away, Unless, and I mean Unless, they were at the "wrong voting poll"... Don't be so naive as to think that if there is voter fraud that it would committed by only Conservatives...I'm sure Democrats can do, and have done just as well at the Fraud tactic! Libertarian!

Rhiannon Gurley
Rhiannon Gurley

yes. as an election judge in IL this past Nov. many were surprised we didn't card because anyone could have voted under their name, i guess doesnt matter until the person who wants to vote shows up and their name was used

Joe Gutknecht
Joe Gutknecht

This statement from the article just intrigues me... "Photo requirement proposals sparked a lot of criticism this past election cycle, with Democrats accusing Republican lawmakers of pushing a targeted voter suppression agenda by making it harder for people, especially minorities, to vote. " If you have nothing to hide, why would having a photo ID make any difference...I've had to show my DL at the polls...I didn't have a problem with that.

Monique-Mojo Osborne
Monique-Mojo Osborne

I'm lost. Y is this controversial? & y would 250k or whatev the # was b SOL? I've been prompted 2 show mine, after moving & whatnot. What's the biggie? Ppl worried their ID will b scanned 4 warrants, or what?

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Explain to me why minorities can not get IDs. That's all I'm asking.

Brian Cooksey
Brian Cooksey

Lol. You just proved why it's voter fraud for the dem's. You are a MORON!

Michael Allen
Michael Allen

Donald: It's merely a cheap ploy, the first step toward finding some other arbitrary reason to turn people away at the polls. It has nothing to do with preventing voter fraud and everything to do with swinging elections. Notice that these bills are always introduced by Republicans, and that they overwhelmingly affect minorities. It's a clear attempt to prevent minority voters from voting, as the assumption is that they will vote Democrat. Governmental corruption needs to be fought at every turn, and you should be concerned that your representatives are willing to engage in such a dirty trick.

Brian Cooksey
Brian Cooksey

Not having to show id is voter fraud. That'S how the democrats win. You have to be a loser to not have an id, and all losers vote democrat to get their free sh*t.

Donald Creswell
Donald Creswell

speak out against it why? i dont understand the downside of showing ID to vote. seriously, someone please help. not getting it.

Michael Allen
Michael Allen

Angela: Please speak out against this in every possible venue. We need credentials like yours to combat it.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

<---Election Judge. Voter fraud is rare. We do just fine identifying people by non-photo ID.

Donald Creswell
Donald Creswell

i also think voters in MO should be able to early vote.

Michael Allen
Michael Allen

The GOP knows that the only way they can win anymore is by employing cheap tactics like this. Voter suppression is very real, but is presented as a means of reducing voter fraud, of which actual occurrences are infinitesimal. I worry about the crowd that doesn't see anything wrong with there being impediments of any kind thrown in the way of our constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.

Brian Cooksey
Brian Cooksey

You idiots that say no need to wise up. Freakin liberals.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Who the hell can not get an ID? saying they are too hard to obtain is utter BS. If you can get out every 2 or 4 years to vote you can certainly, without a doubt, find time to get your ID. Anyone who says different is a GD liar.

Mitch Piles
Mitch Piles

What are you afraid of? I have nothing to hide, so I see no reason not to show my ID. Are you hiding something?

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

If you show financial need you can get an ID for free. As for easier to obtain, I don't see how it could get much easier

Daniel Benedict
Daniel Benedict

Yup. Who doesn't have a photo id these days? have to have a photo id'd license to drive? If you take the bus, why don't you have a state issued photo id (i think regular photo ids are free?)

KITTY
KITTY

YES we should require photo ID to vote.  We have to show photo ID's for almost every legal transaction, even for something as simple as obtaining a library card. It's the Democrats who constantly whine about this. Their claims it hurts minorities is absurd. Minorities have to show ID to get their food stamps, driver's licenses, buy liquor, and on and on. Photo ID's would stop the Dems from buying votes and voting the dead  en masse which they have done since voting began. The sleazy and corrupt arms of the Democratic party  like ACOR and SEIU, are in business for the sole purpose of stealing votes to elect their dirty ilk. 

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