A Missouri House committee approved a pair of measures Tuesday aimed at requiring government-issued photo identification to vote. A similar ID law was struck down in 2006, with the Missouri Supreme Court saying it violated state residents’ constitutional right to vote. So, Republicans plan to turn the question to voters. One measure approved Tuesday would ask voters to amend the Missouri Constitution to allow photo ID requirements. The other bill would establish the legal framework for implementing such requirements. The bills, which both passed the Missouri House Committee on Elections by an 8-3 vote, are on a fast track, according to Rep. Sue Entlicher, a Republican from Bolivar who chairs the panel. She said House Speaker Todd Richardson wants a floor vote on the bills next week, though they still must be approved from the House Select Committee on State and Local Governments.
Missouri law currently allows voters to identify themselves with a bank statement, paycheck or a government document that includes the voter’s address. Voters also can use driver’s licenses or identification from colleges and universities in Missouri. Under the new measure, voters would need an unexpired photo ID issued by Missouri, the federal government or the armed forces; student photo IDs would not be sufficient.
The bills’ sponsors say Missouri needs tighter voting laws to stop any possibility of fraudulent voting, and Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, who sponsored the statutory change bill, said the legislation includes safeguards against disenfranchisement.