Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday took action on the wrong photo identification issue. People statewide are more interested in whether their driver’s license will be accepted in the next few months as a credible identification for them to be able to board commercial flights. U.S. Department of Homeland Security last year notified state officials that Missouri’s exemption from federal Real ID requirements will come to an end Jan. 10. That deadline passed last week. Missourians no longer will be allowed to flash their driver’s license to get into federal facilities or a nuclear power plant. State driver’s licenses — for now — still enable people to get through airport security. But that’s not expected to last unless some corrective action is taken by state officials. So what does the Missouri House do instead? It approved two bills that will force state voters to show a photo ID to cast ballots in elections. One voter restriction bill would amend the state Constitution — with voter approval — to require a photo ID in polling places on Election Days. The Missouri Supreme Court in 2006 ruled that an earlier voter ID law was unconstitutional.
… Missouri’s reluctance to comply with federal ID standards is almost as silly as gun owners fearing that the federal government — and President Barack Obama in particular — being out to confiscate more than 300 million firearms in the United States. As conservatives say about voter ID requirements, if people have done nothing wrong they have nothing to worry about and nothing to hide.
The Real ID program is a reaction to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Congress in 2005 passed a law raising the bar for state IDs so they would be accepted at federal facilities and for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. Kansas and most other states complied. Missouri is one of a half-dozen that didn’t.