Jay Ashcroft, a Republican running for secretary of state in 2016, is pleased that the Missouri Secretary of State’s office has authorized him to circulate his initiative petition proposal to allow a photo ID requirement for voters. Now, he just needs a bunch of volunteers to help out. “I want to try to get 10,000 volunteers across the state,” Ashcroft said Wednesday in a press conference at the Brentwood Library. “And if I do that, then everybody has to get 30 signatures: a couple of houses next to you in your neighborhood. A couple of people in your church, your synagogue, your mosque or wherever you worship. And then a couple of family members, and you’re done.” So far, Ashcroft estimates that he’s acquired about 1,000 helpers.
Ashcroft’s ballot proposal is the latest of many photo-ID measures that Missouri Republicans have proposed over the years, either in earlier petitions or in bills before the General Assembly.
The General Assembly and then-Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, did approve a photo-ID mandate in 2006, but it was tossed out by the Missouri Supreme Court for violating the state constitution.
For various reasons, none of the subsequent proposed constitutional amendments has gotten on the ballot. One implementation bill did make it to Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk a few years ago, but he vetoed it.