Members from the Missouri NAACP, Empower Missouri, Missouri Faith Voices and other groups spoke at the Capitol Thursday to denounce the measure in the Missouri Senate that would make photo voter ID legal. NAACP Missouri President Rod Chapel and his organization have been among the most vocal opposition to photo voter ID, which Chapel says is an attempt to disenfranchise certain voters. “Our opposition to HB 1631… is about fundamental rights,” he said. “It’s about being an American, it’s about being a Missourian.”
Chapel also said the recent 8-0 Supreme Court decision in Evenwel v. Abbott should play a larger role in the legislature’s considerations. Evenwel v. Abbott held that voting district populations should not take into account only the number of registered or eligible voters residing within those districts, but rather the entire population of the district. Chapel said photo voter ID set a dangerous precedent.
“It’s interesting that at a time when the United States Supreme Court in Evenwel v. Abbott is saying that one person, one vote is still the law of the land, we have the Missouri legislature that intends to do the exact thing that Texas has done – pass a photo ID bill and then say that those who are not entitled to vote literally do not count.