A major victory for voting rights was handed down on Friday when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed controversial voter ID legislation. The bill, which would have required a photo ID to vote, was heavily opposed by many state and national groups, including Campus Progress, who joined with over 40 other organizations in signing on to a letter that was sent to the Governor on Friday before he handed down his veto. In vetoing the legislation, Governor Nixon joins Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Mark Dayton of Minnesota who also struck down photo ID bills passed earlier this year in their states. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has more on Nixon’s justification for the veto:
“In a letter explaining his veto, Nixon said the photo ID requirement would have hurt senior citizens and people with disabilities who are qualified to vote but are less likely to have a drivers license or other government-issued photo ID. ‘Disenfranchising certain classes of persons is not acceptable,’ he said.”
In related news, on Sunday, Washington Post opinion columnist E.J. Dionne blasted voter ID laws in a thought-provoking piece.
“Whether or not these laws can be rolled back, their existence should unleash a great civic campaign akin to the voter-registration drives of the civil rights years. The poor, the young and people of color should get their IDs, flock to the polls and insist on their right to vote in 2012,” says Dionne. “If voter suppression is to occur, let it happen for all to see. The whole world, which watched us with admiration and respect in 2008, will be watching again.”