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Should Missouri Require Voters to Have a Photo ID?

Last week, a judge called unconstitutional a ballot measure that would have allowed the Legislature to require photo IDs for voters. New legislation on the issue will be heard Tuesday.

Should voters be required to present a photo ID before they can cast a ballot?

A Cole County judge recently threw out a proposed ballot question that was aimed at the November election, but state lawmakers are still pressing on the issue.

The measure defeated in court would have amended the Missouri Constitution and required voters to show photo identification at the polls, according to an article in the Kansas City Star.

The article quoted Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce: "Because significant changes are required here and policy choices need to be made as to how to reallocate the words in a revised summary statement, the court chooses to vacate the summary statement and to provide the General Assembly an opportunity to revise it."

Critics of the ballot measure say the wording was convoluted intentionally to make it difficult for voters to understand. "This was not because you don’t know how to read, it was because the language was designed to make it unreadable, hence causing you to err in how you vote," wrote the blog The Indypendent on a post Monday.

"This is a victory for voting rights and it affirms the most fundamental constitutional guarantee for every citizen in Missouri," U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, told the St. Louis American in an article last week.

Critics of voter ID measures say the requirement would restrict voter turnout. House Democrats this year said the groups most affected are minorities and the elderly. Supporters say it prevents fraud and increases the integrity of elections.

To that end, Republicans have introduced new language

"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to create standards for enacting general laws that authorize advance voting, require the use of government-issued photo identification in order to vote, and govern voting procedures based on whether an individual is voting in person or by absentee ballot?"

A hearing on the new resolution is scheduled for Tuesday morning in the Missouri House.

What do you say? Do you think we need a voter ID law to protect the integrity of elections? Are you concerned that the poor or elderly might have more difficulty getting an ID, and therefore become disenfranchised?

albert wesker April 08, 2012 at 08:37 AM
the call for voter id as been around way before obama was born..and remember acorn
Marc DeSantis April 09, 2012 at 09:54 PM
It's harder to get an account at Blockbuster video than it is to vote under a false name: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/04/09/Okeefe-Holder I can understand that getting an ID for voting purposes should not be burdensome to the poor, but couldn't we put some kind of system in place to waive the ($5-$20) fee for those who truly cannot afford it? I do not want to prohibit anyone from voting except those who are fraudulent.
Lori Sommer April 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I absolutely think we should have to show ID to vote. I have been doing it for years without being asked to. There is way too much voter fraud going on these days. It is my opinion that people who have nothing to hide would not have a problem with this.
mike heins April 29, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Lori, Can you cite one case of voter fraud in the state of Missouri?
Jean Whitney April 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I'm always surprised when someone asks to see my ID, because glancing at a name on a piece of paper for half a second—well, I guess it makes some people feel better, but other than that, what?
Holston Black Jr. April 29, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Who are you, R U ashamed of that? I bet you don't have those initials, alone on your voter I D.
Devon Seddon April 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM
This is not a ploy to suppress anybody but people who vote illegally. Why would you support that? I keep seeing people saying there aren't that many cases of voter fraud, when there are pets and dead people voting all over the country. There ARE issues with voter fraud, you just have to look to find them, but then again, who controls the media?. Also, you hear these people talking about how the elderly & the poor wouldn't be able to get an ID, that's the dumbest argument there is. If these people want to drive a car, buy a home, rent a home, pick-up a child from school, get a job, catch a fish, hunt a turkey, etc. ANY of these things require an ID or at the very least a liscense (which takes an ID to get). That argument has ZERO validity. The point is, Dems don't want people to have to have an ID to vote, but for EVERYTHING else. Why? It isn't hard to get an ID, and any attempt to say otherwise, just isn't true. In addition, if you disagree with them, will call you a name, and dismiss you & your opinion. Using words like racist or agist. Well, of course, that's because THEY can't think of people in any other way. THEY are the ones who have to separate everyone into little categories for their tiny little minds can keep up. They all cried about voter fraud in Florida a while back, but now are CONVINCED it just isn't happening. Why is it that they always stand in front of the poor & elderly when this subject comes up? Is that where they are hiding those "extra" votes?
Devon Seddon April 30, 2012 at 05:35 PM
You ARE kidding yourself. If the Republicans are the ones committing this fraud, you'd want it to stop, right?
Devon Seddon April 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
RDBet, You've done some research, and that's honorable. However, every statement accuses people who want an ID requirement, of trying to keep a certain segment from voting. Since the only people that those folks want to keep from voting, are those casting illegal votes. By association, you are saying that entire segment is casting illegal votes. I don't think that's how you want to represent that segment. This isn't a racial issue. It isn't an agist issue. It's an honesty issue. I would like to know why the argument is constantly made, that these folks can get out to vote, but not to get an ID. We're not asking them to do anything, or get anything that it wouldn't be a benefit for them to have in the first place. What else might they be able to do, WITH an ID, that they can't do now without one? Likely plenty. An ID would actually be a benefit for that segment of the population, NOT a detriment. Whoever told you otherwise, is trying to manipulate you. And it worked.
Devon Seddon April 30, 2012 at 05:56 PM
States already provide ID's, implimentation is not difficult. Proving who you are is required everywhere else. NOTHING new would have to be set-up for 99.999% of voters. They cost $11. Not quite the financial crisis these folks want to make it sound like. Make it a liscense. Like hunting, fishing, driving, etc. which DO require an ID, but don't suppress rights OR discriminate. Discrimination is NOT the issue. NOR is the cost. The overall cost would be less than the amount we threw away JUST to Solyndra.
Devon Seddon April 30, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Leave it to the political ideology of those like RDBet, take what you said and apply silliness to it so they don't have to listen to common-sense. THE LIKES OF CHARLES MANSON & 4 YEAR-OLDS ALREADY VOTE, THAT'S WHY SOME OF US BELIEVE IN A CHANGE OF POLICY! As he laughs his way out of having to address that, he allows prisoners, minors, pets, etc. to continue voting. Sometimes more than once.
Devon Seddon April 30, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The GOP are not a bunch of racists. Those who feel the need to bring race into everything are the racists. That card is only pulled regularly on ONE side of the aisle. The side that created the KKK, fought civil-rights, shot MLK, and continues to enslave a dependent population. That's right, THE LEFT side of the aisle. Look it up. This myth that the Republicans are racist, was posed by LBJ, when he said "We'll have those ______ voting Democrat for 30 years" - and he was right. The entire population has been made to believe that those enslaving them are their saviours. It's sad, but true. See Alphonzo Rachel.
Devon Seddon April 30, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Again, as always, blown out of purportion. Just so you know, the Tea Party wants a SMALLER, MORE HONEST, ACCOUNTABLE government. How is this a Tea Party thing? You've been sold a bill of goods. You don't even know what your Party OR your 'enemy' believes in. GET AN ID, quit using it as a flemsy excuse. It isn't hard & it doesn't suppress anyone. Endless taxes & regulation is what is supressing people. Not an ID, fool.
RDBet May 01, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Seddon's hysteria over this issue only proves the point -this is all about the partisan politics/voter suppression #game. Photography has been readily available for over a a century - yet suddenly we want everybody to have photograph ID in order to vote. Hmmmmmm. Yet we don't want this done in a uniform way via a national level photo ID because that violates the State's Rights. Not that I mind being photographed for govt purposes, at all - but where are all the libertarians who typically ramble on about govt intrusions in liberties?
RDBet May 01, 2012 at 02:49 PM
More all-caps hysterics from Devon. Trickdarter says prove to me you are a citizen- bringing in the boogieman of illegals coming into the nation to steal election. (another pet topic for Devon, surely.) Lest I remind you, there are differences from being a citizen and registered voter. And a fake citizen is hardly likely to risk exposing themselves by going to vote, but that is just a guess. Tea Party hacks jumping the shark once again.
Michael Rhodes May 01, 2012 at 03:01 PM
2007 in St. Louis 8 ACORN members plead guilty to voter fraud. 2009 in Cahokia two members of Cahokia’s village board plead guilty to charges of voter fraud. Not Missouri, but right across the river. There also was an issue in St. Louis City in 2001 where a lawsuit was filed to extend the voting time as the polling places were being reported as confused and hectic all in an effort to prevent people from voting. It was later discovered that the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit had been dead for a year. I am sure there are more examples out there these were I ones I found with a quick search.
RDBet May 01, 2012 at 06:32 PM
With all this concern over fraudulent little old ladies and poor people crashing the ballot box, I'm wondering where is the concern over security and political connections of Diebold, the maker of voting machines? Or have the Diebold folk demonstrated they are of the "right" political demographic and they don't need hysterical scrutiny.
Michael Rhodes May 01, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Diebold may make the equipment, but doesn't the election authority program them for the elections and then validate the results? Not sure how they would factor in on this discussion.
Devon Seddon May 01, 2012 at 07:45 PM
We've again left the point, thanks to RDBet. I don't believe in government intrusion. But I also believe there should be some way to make sure that same government was fairly chosen. Not sure what the fight is over that. Pick any method you want. There's nothing wrong with voters IDing themselves. If you want to make up some hysteria or have a problem with photography, it's an irrelevent distraction as usual. It doesn't matter what method anyone comes up with, you will have an issue with it, because you need your illegal votes.
RDBet May 01, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I don't disagree with that notion Michael. I'm not a diebold conspiracy theorist, nor election authorities. That doesn't mean I have blind trust in them either... But it seems if some party (let's say - democrats, so all the tea party rage-aholics here stay happy) wanted to rig an election, a massive coaltion of people going the fake ID route should be the least of our worries. Heck, you can't get most people to vote, much less do so fraudulently. It would be more likely be done by hacking the machines or by some partisan county clerk etc. Yet, here we are, in this election year babbling on about people posing as someone else. Who is going to coordinate this supposed fraud, now that ACORN is gone. Maybe Obama himself, lol. You tea party folks need to get a grip, find other hobbies and new straw men.
Devon Seddon May 01, 2012 at 08:11 PM
There goes the same old programmed rhetoric. Little old ladies, the poor. You forgot gays, blacks, women & soldiers. Those are the people that you're supposed to say that anyone who disagrees with you hates, aren't they? Did Diebold take $95 billion tax-payer dollars & insider trading information to get even wealthier? Or was that the President's boy Buffett? Again, off the subject, innaccurate, and irrelevent. In fact, the only thing those two topics have in common, is the fact that again, you only have part of the story accompanied by an accusation or two. Now, what's the REAL reason you like illegal elections? You keep wanting to distract from the point, or talk about the 'method' or 'terminology'. Look, do it however you want to make it legal. That's all this is about. Nothing else. Legal Elections. Any attempt to steer it somewhere else futile. So again, like always, you can now attack me or symantics, and not the point.
RDBet May 01, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Devon, control your tangential rages and false inferences about my political bent for a moment and answer a question. Should there be a national photo ID for voting (and illegal immigration factor)? Would this pass Constitutional muster?
Devon Seddon May 01, 2012 at 08:28 PM
And no. I'm not suggesting the Fed do it. It's ok to leave some things, even this to the States. Don't be confused, they've turned the perception but the truth is, the Fed needs the States, not the other way around. We've been trained to think about it like that, but it isn't true. Also, we're made to think that the Federal Government has money. They don't have a dime. That's our money. They get it by the way, through the States, then make the States feel lucky that they decided to give some back. These days, even extort the States for it. Leave it to the States, this is just what I want for mine.
Michael Rhodes May 01, 2012 at 08:42 PM
I believe (and might be wrong) that the election authority tries to keep a balance of the two main parties (dem/repub) at all voting locations and during the counting of votes to prevent what you are stating. This included multiple people validating the results. I am sure they also have procedures with programming the machines to prevent "hacking". Once again not sure how Diebold factors in. Also, county clerks would not have access to the voting machines.
RDBet May 01, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Michael, again I'm not a diebold conspiracist. But was pointing out that there would be more efficient ways to stuff a ballot box than this fanciful notion of a collaborative voter ID fraud. And regards to county clerks and secretary's of states - Google "Kathly Nicklaus" - either she's an example of political fraud, or grossly negligent ineptitude by a county clerk.
Michael Rhodes May 02, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Okay, I was confused when you stated " I'm wondering where is the concern over security and political connections of Diebold" and then you stated "That doesn't mean I have blind trust in them either". I read that as though Diebold was rigging elections. As for the clerk in Wisconsin I can not speak to as in Missouri an election board runs elections. I think the jest here is there are rules and procedures to, hopefully, prevent tampering with elections. There is no such check for the person at the ballot box as there is no way to confirm the voter is who they say they are with out requiring some form of id. It could take just a few votes to swing an election (think local elections that have sometimes 500 total voters come out).
mike heins May 02, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Michael, You mentioned Acorn but that wasn't really anything to do with voting was it. It had to do with guys trying to make money by getting petitions signed. The only institution defrauded was Acorn. And how would IDs have helped this situation. Again, where has there been election fraud in Missouri?
Michael Rhodes May 02, 2012 at 01:30 PM
They plead guilty to voter fraud as they (you have it backwards or I do) were paying people to fill out a voter card and then go vote. A majority voted several times and under false names (hence the fraud part). ID cards (unless they had fake ids) should have prevented that. Seven examples for you involving just ACORN: 2006 •St Louis City election officials discover almost 1,500 fraudulent voter registration cards turned in by ACORN workers (AP, October 11, 2006) •St Louis County election officials find hundreds of fraudulent address changes, most of which were submitted by ACORN (Post-Dispatch, October 25, 2006) •Four ACORN workers indicted for submitting as many as 1,000 fraudulent voter registration cards in the Kansas City area Each later pleads guilty (KC Star, November 2, 2006) 2007 •Kansas City ACORN worker indicted for election fraud and identity theft (AP, January 6, 2007) 2008 •Eight employees of ACORN plead guilty to election fraud in federal court. Their activities included submitting registration cards with forged signatures and false names. (Post-Dispatch, April, 2, 2008) •Jackson County reports 100s of fraudulent registrations from ACORN (AP, October 9, 2008) •ACORN worker pleads guilty to federal charges for submitting fraudulent voter registrations. (AP, March 24, 2009)
Devon Seddon May 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I believe you are dismissing the thousands & thousands of offenses by ACORN, the Dems' terrorist friend. Repeat offenders that of course are not mentioned at all, but you got your attack in on the Reps, good job. But you still don't want people to have to vote legally. Which party is it that are virtually fighting this til the death? That should tell you something.
Matt Doell May 03, 2012 at 06:52 PM
This seems a bit like the tobacco companies claim a decade ago that there was no evidence that smoking caused health problems. Owning a gun is a constitutional right, too. I think you have to have an ID (and a background check) to buy one.

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