Missouri State lawmaker takes another stab at Voter ID

KOMU 8 News,  January 22, 2020

"A week after the Supreme Court of Missouri upheld that part of the voter ID law which took effect in 2017 is unconstitutional, state lawmakers are already taking another swing at it.

Today, members of the House Elections and Election Officials committee heard testimony on House Bill 1600, which modifies several election provisions. It would give the Secretary of State's office the power to subpoena for investigations and repeals an affidavit requirement.

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The new bill would allow "voters without personal identification at a polling place to vote a provisional ballot which will be counted" as long as the voter returns with proper documentation for election officials.

Under the bill filed by Rep. John Simmons, R-Washington, voters will need to provide personal identification in order to cast a ballot: 

  • A Missouri driver or non-driver license, passport or military I.D.
  • A signed affidavit that states the vote will not be counted unless the voter returns with an ID from Option 1.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was at the hearing Tuesday morning to testify in favor of the bill. Ashcroft said he did not want to change the Voter ID bill right after it was first struck down in 2018 because he did not want to confuse people.

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A number of groups including the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and the NAACP testified against the bill.

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[Washington University in St. Louis law professor Denise Lieberman] said according to the Secretary of State's own analysis, 279,000 registered Missouri voters either don't have a state issued I.D. or an expired one. For his part, Ashcroft said his office is more than happy to help voters obtain a state-issued I.D. for free."

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Hannah Piercey

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