JEFFERSON CITY — A longtime proponent of enacting voter identification legislation in Missouri, Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, is today applauding the General Assembly’s decision to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 1631. Handled by Sen. Kraus in the Senate, HB 1631 seeks to implement a photo ID requirement for voters. The measure passed with a companion referendum, House Joint Resolution 53, which will be on the ballot in November. House Bill 1631 will only take effect if voters pass the referendum.
“People expect integrity in their elections, yet an election seldom goes by without accusations of some type of fraud,” said Sen. Kraus. “With election fraud possibly occurring in every other aspect of elections, it is hard to believe voter impersonation fraud is somehow non-existent; unfortunately, there is no real mechanism to be sure. House Bill 1631 gives our election officials a tool to help detect and prevent voter fraud.”
House Bill 1631 requires those wishing to vote in public elections to present a valid photo ID at the polls, such as a non-expired Missouri driver’s license or non-expired military license. If a voter does not have a valid ID, that person can still receive a regular ballot by signing a statement, under penalty of perjury, attesting they are who they claim to be. If no statement is signed, the voter can vote provisionally. As part of a compromise to ensure no eligible voter is disenfranchised, the state and all fee offices will be required to provide a free photo ID to any voter who does not possess one and any underlying documents necessary to obtain it.
“House Bill 1631 is the culmination of nearly a decade of work on this issue in the Legislature,” added Sen. Kraus. “As the cornerstone of our democratic process, protecting the integrity of our elections is of the utmost importance, and I am hopeful Missouri voters will approve the photo voter ID measure in November.”