voter ID

Since Missouri's state lawmakers are on spring break this week, "St. Louis on the Air" is checking in to see what they've accomplished so far, and what remains on the to-do list.

Four bills have been passed by both chambers and sent to the governor:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republicans in the Missouri Senate succeeded in passing two of their top priorities early Tuesday morning.

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

With fights over tax cuts and budgets out of the way, the Missouri General Assembly appears poised to spend its final week focusing on some familiar topics: guns, abortion and voting rights.


Measures to restrict enforcement of federal laws, triple the waiting period for an abortion and to ask voters to mandate photo IDs at the polls are among the hot-button proposals expected to eat up some of legislators’ precious floor time during the final five days.

James Cridland via Flickr

Missouri’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman is being challenged by a suit filed last week in Kansas City. Eight same-sex couples living in Missouri are seeking the state’s recognition of their out-of-state marriages.

File photo

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony Monday on the latest effort by Republicans to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

The proposal comes in two pieces of legislation:  Senate Joint Resolution 31 would amend the state constitution to allow for photo ID requirements at the polls, and Senate Bill 511 would implement those requirements.  

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

This week the Politically Speaking crew welcomes Secretary of State Jason Kander to the podcast. Kander, a Democrat from Kansas City, narrowly captured the statewide office in 2012 after a hard-fought contest with Republican Shane Schoeller.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a pair of bills that would institute photo ID requirements for voters.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is speaking out against legislation in both the House and Senate that would require voters to show photo ID’s at the polls.

In each chamber there are proposed constitutional amendments that would allow for photo ID requirements, along with accompanying bills that would enact the proposed requirements -- HB 48 and HJR 1 in the Missouri House, and SB 27 and SJR 6 in the Missouri SenateState Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) chairs the caucus.  She and other caucus members say Republicans are trying to suppress the voting rights of minorities, the disabled, the poor and elderly.

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

This week lawmakers in Jefferson City are taking another crack at requiring Missouri voters to show a photo ID when they go to the polls.

Opponents of the bills, however, plan to tell legislators the new standards would be unnecessary and unfair.

Denise Lieberman is an attorney for the voting-rights group the Advancement Project.

This week she’s testifying before both the House and Senate committees considering voter ID requirements and says the proposals are flat-out unconstitutional.

voxefxtm | Flickr

Republicans in the Missouri House are making another attempt to pass legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

No one testified in favor of the proposal at a House hearing today -- everyone who testified either opposed requiring photo ID’s for voting or were neutral and speaking for informational purposes only.  In addition to mandating photo identification, House Bill 48 would allow anyone who does not have a photo ID to vote with a provisional ballot, which would not be counted until the voter’s identity is verified.  John Scott with the Secretary of State’s office told the House Committee on Elections that Missouri voters would still be disenfranchised.

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Jan 24, 2013
Alex Heuer

Jason Rosenbaum is out this week, so we have St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin filling in. Marshall joins Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Beacon and Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio to discuss the week in politics.

On this week's show: the special elections bill that's speeding through the statehouse, the early morning voter ID committee and the $6 million plane.

Editor's note: after the recording, the voter ID committee was pushed back to 8 a.m.

File photo

There has been a lot of talk this year about changing I.D. requirements for voters, but Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) wants residents to know that the law hasn’t changed in Missouri.

Carnahan says voters can bring a driver’s license or other photo I.D. to the polls if they so choose, but that photo identification is not mandatory.

The bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures has put together an interesting interactive map of Voter ID requirements in all 50 states. Check it out via the link. How do you feel about requiring an ID to vote?

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Study: Corps made the right choice in breaching Birds Point

A new study says the Army Corps of Engineers made the right choice when it blew up a southeast Missouri levee last year.

Study co-author Ken Olson, a professor of soil sciences at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urban,a says river levels continued to rise even after the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was breached by explosives to relieve flooding pressure on Cairo, Ill.

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

A Missouri House committee has endorsed a second attempt to place a photo ID requirement for voters on the 2012 ballot.

The measure passed Tuesday by the House Elections Committee would write a new ballot summary for a proposed constitutional amendment. A Cole County judge struck down the original summary last week.

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

A Cole County judge has thrown out a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would allow lawmakers to require voters to show IDs at the polls. 

The ruling, which you can view the full text of here, was filed on Tuesday. In it, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce calls the summary statement, which outlines to voters what the proposed amendment would do, "insufficient" and "unfair."

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

A lawsuit seeking to block a proposed constitutional amendment regarding voter identification in Missouri was heard today in Cole County.

The ballot measure was passed last year by the General Assembly and is scheduled to go before Missouri voters in November.  If approved, it would clear the way for lawmakers to pass enabling legislation to require voters to show a photo ID at the polls.  Tony Rothert is an attorney with the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.  He calls the ballot measure misleading.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Rev. Al Sharpton is joining Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay in opposing efforts to require voters to show photo IDs at the polls.  

Last year, Republicans in 38 states introduced legislation that would require a state-approved photo ID to vote. Seven states have since signed it into law.

Sharpton joined Clay in St. Louis Friday at a voter rights forum to oppose a similar law from passing in Missouri.  “We've got to turn this around," Sharpton said. "And start targeting in Missouri those legislators that are targeting our right to vote,” he said.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Before the vote, Democrats hammered away at Republicans’ arguments that the bill would combat voter fraud, saying there hasn’t been a documented case of voter fraud in decades – and that the bill does nothing to deal with voter registration fraud.  State Representative Todd Richardson (R, Poplar Bluff) disagreed.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Democrats and Republicans remain deeply divided over the issue:  The 104-54 vote split along party lines, with every Republican present voting “yes,” and every Democrat “no.”  Supporters argued that the bill would help prevent voter fraud.  But State Representative Leonard Hughes (D, Kansas City) countered that the bill is unnecessary.