JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Republicans aren’t giving up on voter ID.
Roughly a 12 months after the Missouri Supreme Court docket gutted a 2016 ID legislation, Rep. John Simmons, R-Washington, got here to committee Wednesday with a brand new model.
Final 12 months’s court docket determination took problem with how the previous legislation required voters utilizing photo-less types of identification — together with utility payments and financial institution statements — to swear they had been who they claimed to be, so Simmons’ invoice nixes that totally.
Beneath his proposal, solely individuals with picture IDs can be allowed to solid an everyday poll. Individuals with no picture ID would as an alternative solid a provisional poll that may be counted provided that their signature on it matches the one on their voter registration file.
It’s not clear whether or not Simmons’ thought would survive one other lawsuit. A 5-2 majority of excessive court docket judges deemed the same idea “nonsensical” final 12 months.
Simmons didn’t seem to care.
He stated the provisional poll possibility would provide a secured security web for these with out picture IDs whereas “defending different voters who would in any other case be disenfranchised” by fraud.
The listening to took a predictable course from there.
Democrats challenged Simmons to provide you with an instance through which his legislation would have prevented fraud.
Simmons introduced up an occasion of registration fraud in Kansas Metropolis and absentee fraud in St. Louis, however each of these had been caught with out picture ID.
Nationwide research over a number of election cycles have indicated in-person voter fraud is virtually non-existent.
“I actually see this as an answer looking for an issue that doesn’t exist,” Rep. Joe Adams, D-College Metropolis, stated.
Adams and advocates for organizations just like the Missouri NAACP and AARP additionally steered the legislation would disenfranchise poor and aged voters who could lack requisite paperwork and the know-how to get a photograph ID.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, one other Republican, disputed these criticisms.
He acknowledged that quite a lot of individuals lack picture IDs, however stated his workplace had helped 1000’s get one totally free since he took workplace in 2017.
He additionally stated that whereas individuals with out picture ID must solid provisional ballots, 98-99 p.c of these find yourself counting as soon as signatures are checked.
“For individuals to say (the legislation) discriminates is incorrect,” he stated.
Sharon Jones, an lawyer and lobbyist for the state NAACP chapter, stated she doubts a court docket would see it that manner.
Signature matching may be subjective, she stated, making a risk that even a correctly solid provisional poll may very well be at an obstacle.
“This invoice nonetheless makes it harder to vote than it’s to train our different constitutional rights,” she stated.
Republicans on the committee didn’t seem swayed by dissent.
Extra:‘Out of the way in which for now’: Voter ID legislation gutted by Missouri Supreme Court docket
Rep. Jeff Coleman, R-Grain Valley, stated he simply did not perceive the pushback.
“As we take a look at our each day lives, picture ID is just about already required,” he stated. “I believe among the concern is the lower-income of us, however I believe they nonetheless should have picture ID to get among the advantages, open a checking account … to get liquor or smokes.”
Coleman and Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, additionally steered the invoice would assist ease considerations about election integrity within the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
“Particularly since we have had the questions on the latest election, whether or not they’re based or not, I really feel the burden right here of creating Missourians really feel they’ll belief the election course of,” Shaul stated.
Each males had been amongst these with “questions” who signed onto a decision in December demanding inquiries into unproven accusations of fraud in six states that voted towards President Donald Trump. Dozens of different Republicans joined them, however the decision by no means made it to a remaining vote.
The committee took no motion on the voter ID invoice Wednesday, which is what normally occurs the primary time a invoice is heard.
The committee will maintain one other listening to the place it may vote on the invoice within the coming week.
The laws is Home Invoice 334.
Austin Huguelet is the Information-Chief’s politics reporter. Obtained one thing he ought to know? Have a query? Name him at 417-403-8096 or electronic mail him at email@example.com.