A voter photo ID bill that has become one of the most contentious issues of the 2016 Missouri legislative session finally made its way to the Senate floor on Tuesday. The bill passed out of the House early in the session, but the Senate Republican majority had held off on bringing the bill up before the body. Democrats used stall tactics to hold the floor from roughly 4 to 7:15 p.m., halting further action on the bill. They say requiring photo ID at the polls would make it harder for an estimated 220,000 Missouri registered voters without IDs to cast ballots. “This is about voter suppression, not voter fraud,” said state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, at about 5 p.m. She read county-by-county voting results from as far back as 2006, making the point that in-person voter impersonation fraud is rare.
State Sen. Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, at about 5:30 p.m., told the Post-Dispatch that he didn’t anticipate another marathon filibuster, like the one weeks earlier over a bill that would grant greater legal protections to wedding vendors and others opposed to same-sex marriage.
“We’re still communicating, still trying to get some kind of compromise,” he said. “I don’t think either side wants to go to a 39-hour filibuster.”
At about 7:15 p.m., state Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit and the Senate bill sponsor, asked that the bill be laid over and placed on the Senate informal calendar, effectively pausing debate. His reason? He said he had to present another bill to a House committee.