Dealt a setback in court, a Missouri House committee acted quickly Tuesday to embrace new wording for a 2012 ballot measure that would allow a photo identification mandate to be imposed upon voters in future elections. The measure approved by the House Elections Committee seeks to rewrite the ballot summary voters would see when deciding later this year whether to amend the Missouri Constitution to allow a state law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls. As originally passed by lawmakers last year, the ballot summary referred to the measure as the “Voter Protection Act.”
Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce struck down that summary last week, taking particular issue with the fact that the phrase “Voter Protection Act” never appears in the actual text of the proposed constitutional amendment. The judge’s written decision also noted that regardless of the proposed constitutional amendment, the Legislature already has authority to enact an early voting period, and the ballot proposal would place restrictions on that. Joyce said she struck down the ballot summary to provide lawmakers an opportunity to revise it.
The revision approved by the House panel would drop any reference to the “Voter Protection Act” from the ballot summary. Instead, the summary would state: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to create standards for enacting general laws that authorize advance voting, require the use of government-issued photo identification in order to vote, and govern voting procedures based on whether an individual is voting in person or by absentee ballot.” The revised summary still must be approved by the full House and Senate.
Full Article: Mo. House panel backs do-over attempt on voter ID.