Year after year, Missouri Republicans try to implement a photo ID requirement to vote. Despite overwhelming legislative majorities, they come up short every time. The GOP has watched voter ID bills vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, tossed out by the courts and bargained away by lawmakers in favor of other legislative priorities. The perennial push began anew this week, with the House granting initial approval to a pair of bills sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger, a Hartville Republican. One bill would ask voters to amend the state’s constitution to allow the state to require a photo ID before casting a ballot. This is a necessary step to overcome a state Supreme Court ruling that deemed a previous voter ID law unconstitutional.
Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, who represents Seymour and eastern Webster County in the Missouri House of Representatives, admits he has brought his voter I.D. bill before the legislature many times. “If you’ve been on [the Missouri House Elections] Committee in the past, you are not seeing any new information here today,” he said. “This is basically the same bill I’ve been presenting for the last several years.” Dugger, the former Wright County Clerk, presented his bill to the House Elections Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 27, and it was met with significant hostility from lawmakers, interest groups and everyday Missourians. “I’m not exactly speechless, but I am just amazed that you have the chutzpah to keep bringing this back to this committee,” said State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis County.