Although he has not formally taken office, Missouri’s next secretary of state is working to implement a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Republican Jay Ashcroft told the Post-Dispatch Friday that he was in talks with the Legislature to ensure there is enough funding for the voter photo ID law. And, he is crafting guidelines for how it will work if someone shows up at the polls without an ID card. “It’s a big thing to take care of,” said Ashcroft, who will replace Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat. On Nov. 8, 63 percent of Missouri voters favored a change in the state constitution to require voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot. For those without a valid form of photo identification, the state will be required to provide an ID for free.
A legislative analysis put the price tag on that requirement at $10 million, based on an assumption that half of the estimated 200,000 Missourians who don’t have an ID would acquire one once the law is in place.
Although opponents said the new law would disenfranchise poor, elderly and minority voters, supporters dismissed the claims because of a provision allowing people without a valid ID to vote if they sign an affidavit saying they are properly registered to vote.
The new requirement could be challenged in court.