Missouri begins voter ID rollout amid questions about money and necessity

3/18/2017

Under the new constitutional amendment, the state must pay for three elements of a photo ID program: free IDs for anyone who can’t pay for one; free documents necessary to get those IDs; and advertising to make sure everyone knows about the changes.

That last part is crucial. If people don’t know IDs and documents are free, or that they can sign a statement and vote anyway, the law’s provisions may serve to discourage voting. ...

Former Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat and an opponent of photo ID requirements for voters, said the state needed to spend $5.2 million over the next two years to properly inform voters and carry out the law....He estimated that 224,000 registered voters lacked photo IDs as of 2014....[But Republican]Gov. Eric Greitens'...budget...gave voter photo ID $300,000: $100,000 each for public education, the IDs and records. ...

[T]he voting rights group VoteRiders recorded conversations with workers at seven [Wisconsin] license offices who gave incorrect information. Several wouldn’t give out the temporary paper ID to ensure people could vote before their plastic card came in the mail. Others insisted that people needed birth certificates for IDs, which wasn’t true under Wisconsin law.