The Missouri House of Representatives will debate Wednesday about a bill that aims to require photo identification at all polling places in the state. 2013 is the seventh consecutive year the Missouri House has debated a voter identification bill, but Rep. Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany) said he expects the bill to pass this time. The House passed a similar bill in 2006, but the Missouri Supreme Court struck it down, calling the photo requirement “an unconstitutional infringement on the fundamental right to vote.” Guernsey said the requirement would help prevent voter fraud and increase confidence in Missouri elections.
Missouri: Photo ID Bill in Missouri? Controversial Proposal Sparks Voter Suppression Criticism | Riverfront Times
Should Missouri residents be required to show photo identification if they want to vote in elections? Yes indeed, says Representative Tony Dugger, a Republican from Hartville, who is pushing not one, but two different measures to try and create stricter requirements for voters in Missouri. The effort requires two bills, because Dugger would need to change the state constitution. And next general election, voters might have that opportunity. The proposals, on full view below and set for a hearing tomorrow, are already sparking controversy with opponents slamming the bills as clear conservative tactics to suppress legitimate voters.
A St. Louis County judge has ordered a new election on Sept. 24 to settle a ballot problem that marred a state House race that was decided by one vote last month. The county Board of Election Commissioners had petitioned the court for a new election after it learned that workers at a polling place in Brentwood accidentally passed out the wrong ballots to 102 voters in the Democratic primary Aug. 7 between state representatives Stacey Newman and Susan Carlson in the 87th District. Newman won by a single vote, 1,823 to 1,822. The court’s ruling, handed down Monday by Circuit Judge Michael T. Jamison, states: “The margin of separation between Newman and Carlson is only one vote. And, it is clear that more than 100 voters were given the incorrect ballot, and that approximately one-third of the persons receiving the wrong ballot voted a Democratic ballot. “Whether the number of votes of doubtful validity is viewed as being more than 100, or 69, or 35, or some other number, the magnitude of the potentially improper votes is many times greater than the one vote that separates Newman and Carlson.”
The St. Louis County Election Board has declined to certify the results of the Democratic primary for the 87th State Representative District—which was apparently won by one vote on Aug. 7—because 102 voters were given incorrect ballots, the board announced today. The contest was between two incumbents thrown into the same district by redistricting, state reps. Stacey Newman and Susan Carlson. According to the unofficial results from election night, Newman beat Carlson 1,823 votes to 1,822. However, that outcome now will have to be determined by a circuit court, since the county election board won’t certify the results.
Voter advocates across the state and nation cheered today’s announcement by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon that he would veto a repressive voter identification bill passed last month by the Missouri legislature.
“Gov. Nixon’s veto of SB 3 protects the rights of all Missouri voters and goes a long way to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast a ballot,” said Denise Lieberman, senior attorney and Missouri Voter Protection Advocate for Advancement Project, a voter protection group among the dozens of groups who joined to oppose the measure. “The governor’s action today sends the message that no Missouri voter should be relegated to second class citizenship solely because they do not have or cannot get a state ID.”
Voter advocates have been lobbying the Governor to veto the repressive voter identification bill since the legislature passed it during the final week of the legislative session in May. A coalition of 45 organizations representing diverse constituencies sent a letter to the governor urging him to stand up for Missouri voters, and nearly 2,000 voters from across the state signed a petition urging the Governor to veto the legislation.
The chief critic of a proposal to require voters to have photo IDs is calling for an investigation into the ballot habits of Congressman and Republican Senate hopeful Todd Akin.
The Post-Dispatch reported on Tuesday that Akin owns a home in Wildwood, but has voted in the last 10 elections in Town and Country, where he grew up and raised his family.
State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, said the confusion over Akin’s residency and voting undermines the need for photo ID legislation passed by the Missouri General Assembly this year.