Voter ID | St. Louis Public Radio

Voter ID

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.

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has begun debate on a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

House leaders had intended to hold a first-round vote on the measure Monday, but it was delayed because of the large number of Democrats who spoke against the bill.  Joe Aull (D, Marshall) used former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton (D) as an example of how he says some elderly citizens could be disenfranchised by the bill.  Aull says Skelton attempted to get a photo ID for himself after the 2006 voter ID law was passed, but he was turned down.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Legislation that would require Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls has passed a State House committee.

Voters who don’t have a photo ID would be required to use provisional ballots, which would be counted once their identities are correctly verified.  It passed 7 to 3 on a straight party line vote, with every Republican on the House Elections Committee voting “yes” and every Democrat voting “no.”  The sponsor, House Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard), says the bill shouldn’t be divisive.

(via Friends of Shane Schoeller)

The Speaker Pro-tem of the Missouri House, Shane Schoeller (R, Willard), says he’s going to sponsor a package of election-related bills during next year’s legislative session.

It will include a bill requiring that voter-approved laws cannot be overturned by a simple majority vote by lawmakers.

Take, for example, the state minimum wage hike, which 76 percent of Missouri voters approved five years ago.  Schoeller says under his bill, that law could only be overturned if more than 76 percent of House and Senate members voted to do so.

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

A lawsuit is seeking to strike down a proposed constitutional amendment allowing a photo identification mandate for Missouri voters.

The measure passed the Missouri General Assembly this session and is scheduled to go before voters in November 2012.

It would ask voters to amend the state Constitution and allow lawmakers to enact early voting laws and photo ID requirements.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed Senate Bill 3 today, "which would have established requirements for advance voting and voter photo identification for elections," according to Nixon's website.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Democratic state Representative from the St. Louis area has officially asked Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to investigate whether Congressman Todd Akin broke any rules by voting in Town and Country despite having an official residence in Wildwood.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation today reauthorizing the state's prescription drug assistance program for low-income seniors for three more years.

Missouri Rx pays half of the cost of prescription drugs, including co-pays and deductibles, for eligible seniors. It's designed to cover the gap in Medicare prescription drug benefits known as the donut hole.

The governor says the program will still be needed even as President Obama phases in his overhaul of the health care system.

Updated 5:40 p.m. Feb. 25, 2011.

A State Senator from rural western Missouri has announced he'll seek the Republican nomination for Secretary of State next year.

Bill Stouffer (R, Napton) was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.

He made an unsuccessful bid for Congress last year, losing the GOP nod to Vicky Hartzler in Missouri's 4th District.  Hartzler later unseated incumbent Democrat Ike Skelton.

An attorney who successfully challenged Missouri's photo ID law for voters in 2006 plans a new legal argument if the requirement is revived.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri House's action on Thursday is the latest in a complicated series of legislative actions and court decisions on the voter ID issue. Missouri and Indiana were among the states where Republican legislatures passed voter ID laws in the name of limiting voter fraud. Democrats claimed the purpose of the laws was to disenfranchise poor voters less likely to have IDs. The Missouri Supreme Court threw out the state law based on the high level of protection that the state constitution provides for the right to vote.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana's voter identification law on Monday by a 6-3 vote that avoided the normal ideological divisions. The decision won't revive Missouri's voter ID law, however, because the 2006 decision striking down that law was based on state, not federal constitutional grounds.

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