Senate Advances Legislation to Protect the Integrity of the Election Process
The Measure Heads Back to the House for Final Consideration
JEFFERSON CITY— The Missouri Senate advanced a measure today that will protect the integrity and fairness of the state’s election process. Bill handler, Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, said the Senate worked together to make sure this bill is a good balance of protecting the fairness of Missouri elections while making sure no voter is disenfranchised.
“I believe voting is one of our most important rights and duties,” said Kraus. “Currently there is no way to detect voter impersonation fraud when it happens. This common-sense requirement will ensure our election process is protected while not creating an undue burden for Missourians casting their ballots.”
The measure, House Bill 1631, requires voters to provide a valid photo ID at the polls. A valid photo ID includes a non-expired Missouri driver’s license or a military license. If a voter does not have a valid photo ID, that person can still vote by signing a statement stating that the voter is the person he or she claims to be. If no statement is signed the voter can still vote provisionally. Voters without valid photo ID can obtain one paid for by the state under this bill.
Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said he believes this bill will help prevent in-person voter impersonation.
“Facts show voter ID laws are intended to protect voters from dishonest tactics from people looking for an advantage at the expense of our fundamental right,” said Richard. “Photo identification requirements improve security at the polls to ensure Missouri voices are heard.”
The measure will head back to the House for consideration. If passed by the House, the bill will not go into effect unless Missouri voters approve House Joint Resolution 53. The joint resolution would make Missouri the 17th state to require a photo identification to vote, if passed, and was also approved by the Senate this week. The amendment would add a provision to the Missouri Constitution that would require voters to provide a photo ID at the polls.
“Other states’ photo ID laws have been upheld in the court system,” said Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City. “While some people argue that not many cases of voter impersonation fraud exist, election fraud is real. These measures are a great step forward in detecting that type of voter fraud.”
For more on these measures and others, visit www.senate.mo.gov.
Lauren Hieger, Senate Majority Caucus Communications Director
(573) 751-7266 – firstname.lastname@example.org