A Senate panel on Tuesday heard testimony on a proposal that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls. The measure is similar to a proposal passed out of committee in the House. The bill and a separate resolution, if passed, would pose the question to voters this year in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment. In 2006, the state Supreme Court struck down a photo voter ID law, saying it infringed on the rights of voters. Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, is sponsoring the bill and accompanying resolution in the Senate. Kraus is running for secretary of state.
Republicans argue that voter fraud is a real threat that could tip the balance of elections. “In the state of Missouri, without an ID, it’s pretty easy to get somebody else’s utility bill and say, ‘Hi I’m Bob Jones, I’m here to vote,’” Kraus said.
But Democrats argue that voter photo ID proposals — which have been tossed around in the Legislature for the last decade — amount to a veiled attempt at disenfranchising voters.
They cite hypothetical examples of elderly people having to spend weeks trying to get birth certificates so that they can get an ID. And under the proposal, students wouldn’t be able to present their student IDs, even though they might not have a regular drivers license.