After a charged debate last month in the Missouri House of Representatives over voter photo identification, the topic is back, this time in the Senate. On Monday, the Senate Elections committee took up legislation passed by the House in February. The legislation — one bill that puts photo identification requirements to a vote of the people and another that implements the requirements if Missouri approves them — had a public hearing that was less tense than earlier discussion in the House. Both supporters and opponents acknowledged that arguments on all sides had already been aired, even as they reiterated them. “Fundamental in the whole concept of photo ID is that photo identification is sort of the basis of what we do in modern society,” Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, told the committee. Cox has been a champion in the House for a photo requirement.
Cox said he recently had to show a photo ID to gain access to a federal courthouse, even though access to the courts is a fundamental right.
“It’s simply to build a firewall to those people who might early in the process cheat,” Cox said.
Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, said he did not think there have been any cases of voter fraud because of a lack of photo identification when voting. LeVota asked, if citizens are already provided voter cards after registering, why not put a photo on the card?
“I just wonder if there’s a better system of when you register, you show a photo ID and then that picture’s there on the voter card,” LeVota said.