A close friend of mine is one of the great advocates for disability rights in Columbia — perhaps all of Boone County. She recently started a discussion on Facebook concerning Missouri’s Senate Bill 3, the voter identification bill, which now sits on the governor’s desk for signature or veto.
My friend wrote that she may have to sue the state of Missouri because the bill could disenfranchise up to 300,000 Missourians. I praise her fortitude. Not many are willing to stand up for the disabled and poor.
She continued that the law says in order to get a birth certificate, citizens need to prove who they are. If your name has changed due to marriage or divorce,you must show proof in the form of a marriage certificate or divorce decree. This discriminates against women. My antenna started to vibrate.
…Here are the essential facts, which may be contradictory to a few of the “telephone” rumors you may have heard:
Fact: Checking the DHSS website, a marriage license is not required for women or men to receive a certified copy of a birth certificate. You do need to present government-issued photo identification or have two other forms of identification stating your nameand the name of the company or organization issuing the I.D., along with $15.
Fact: Nothing in SB-3 suggests requiring a marriage certificate as valid identification for the purpose of voting.
Fact: For voters who lack valid photo I.D., SB-3 allows them to cast provisional ballots. If identity cannot be validated at the polling location, the voter is allowed to cast a provisional ballot but must bring some form of identification to the voting authority within three days.
Fact: To change your name on a Missouri driver’s license or identification, you do need proof of the change, e.g. your marriage license, divorce decree or court order. If I were to change my name to my grandfather’s original spelling, Roizemann, I would also have to provide proper proof for a new driver’s license.
Is SB-3 discriminatory? I believe it is and will disenfranchise voters who are physically disabled, do not drive for any given reason, do not hold a photo I.D. because of religious reasons or cannot afford to pay for an I.D. Gov. Nixon needs to veto SB-3 — the sooner, the better.