Missouri House Approves Photo Voter ID Bill
Yesterday, the Missouri House adopted a photo voter ID bill that, if approved by the Senate, would go into effect only if voters approve an amendment to the state constitution in November.
“The new bill passed on a 101-54 party-line vote Thursday but failed to garner enough votes to overcome another gubernatorial veto,” the Kansas City Star reports. “It now heads to the Senate.”
Since the Missouri Supreme Court struck down a voter ID law as unconstitutional in 2006, state lawmakers have annually attempted to pass a new version of the restrictive measure. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a voter ID bill in 2011, but the legislature still passed a resolution for voters to amend the state constitution to allow ID restrictions.
Civil rights groups have filed suit last summer–including ACLU of Eastern Missouri, Fair Elections Legal Network, and Advancement Project–challenging the ballot initiative to have it decertified.
“I cannot imagine anything more cynical and shameful than using the voting process itself to trick voters into giving up their rights,” said Denise Lieberman, senior attorney for Advancement Project. “Just as the Missouri Supreme Court rejected Missouri’s photo ID law as a ‘heavy and substantial burden’ on voting rights, the court should reject this deceptive initiative. It does not make clear to voters that they will be giving up a fundamental right.”
The case is pending in the Cole County Circuit Court.