House panel looks at requiring photo ID to vote

Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

by Wes Duplantier

Missouri House Republicans are once again pushing a constitutional amendment that would require Missouri voters to show valid, state-issued photo identification before they can cast full ballots in the state’s elections.

In 2011, the legislature approved a state Constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to require photo IDs to vote, but a court battle prevented the measure from being placed on the statewide ballot.

Republicans argue that requiring photo identification will prevent voter fraud and say that such credentials are already needed to do many everyday things, such as rent a movie from a video store.

But Democrats, as well as advocates for people with disabilities, the elderly and minorities, say the law would effectively block those voters from the ballot box by requiring them to provide documents they don’t have, such as a birth certificate, or by imposing prohibitive costs, such as transportation to a state license office or the cost of a day off from work to get the identification.