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Mo. House committee passes voter ID bill

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Mo. Capitol

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.

“At the end of the day when I show up to vote, I’m a voter, and I may vote for a Republican and Democrat both when I go to vote," Schoeller said.  "So to me I’m protecting the voter, I’m not protecting one party over another.”

Schoeller is also seeking the GOP nomination for Missouri Secretary of State.

Farilyn Hale with the St. Louis chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women testified against the bill.

“It will disenfranchise many people," Hale said.  "Senior citizens, students, young adults, members of the working poor, African-Americans, many immigrants, (and) victims of natural disasters.”

The bill has one more committee stop before going to the full House for floor debate.  Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a similar bill last year. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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