By Eli Yokley | Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY — Lawmakers discussed legislation Tuesday morning that would require voters to present a form of photo identification at their polling locations.
Republicans have brought up a photo voter ID bill for consideration every year since 2006 without success, as Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has repeatedly vetoed it. This year the GOP — armed with supermajorities in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly — could pass the bill and override a governor veto, if they unite.
State Rep. Myron Neth, R-Liberty, speaking in favor of the bill at a committee hearing, said he felt voting might be too easy, opening the polls up to potential fraud.
“For me, who takes voting very, very seriously, I would do whatever it takes to get whatever kind of ballot ID. But yet, you defend a situation where you are almost saying you don’t want people to have valid ID to be able to vote,” he said to critics of the legislation.
Republicans have proposed legislation to provide photo identification for those who do not have it.
Denise Lieberman, a voting rights attorney, said going through the hassle of getting a form of photo identification should not be applied to the right of voting.
“It’s one thing to require people to jump through additional hoops to obtain privileges like driving a car, or cashing a check, or boarding an airplane, and it’s quite another thing to make them jump through additional hoops in order to exercise a fundamental right like voting,” she said.