After more than a decade of trying, Republicans resurrected last year a measure to require photo IDs for Missouri voters. The Missouri Supreme Court had struck down the first attempt in 2006, finding the law abridged a fundamental right to vote for thousands without government-issued photo IDs. But before putting a new measure on the ballot last year, GOP supermajorities made some changes. Not only will non-driver license ID cards be free, the documents necessary to apply for them — such as birth certificates or marriage licenses — will be, too. And anyone who can’t get either can still vote with a utility bill, a paycheck or other form of ID accepted previously by signing a statement swearing they are who they say they are.
…Once the Legislature put the measure on the November ballot, 63 percent of Missouri voters approved adding voter photo ID to the state constitution. The new rules take effect in August.
Now the state government will have to live up to its promises.
Standing in the way is a budget fight pitting Republican legislators against the new GOP governor, myriad legal obstacles and a nagging sense that the law will do little to deter real fraud.