Sen. Dave Schatz’s Legislative Column for April 22, 2021

Protecting the Integrity of Our Elections

The ability to cast one’s vote on Election Day is a fundamental part of our representative republic. An individual’s vote is their voice and their ability to choose who represents them at all levels of government. While we all come from different backgrounds, each of our voices count the same on Election Day — one person, one vote. As a result, I believe it is paramount to the success and stability of our government, both in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C., that we maintain the integrity of our elections.

As Americans, the Constitution doesn’t require us to participate in the election process, but countless individuals throughout the history of our country have fought and even died for the right to cast their vote. The right to vote is something I don’t take lightly, and I am committed to doing everything I can to make sure Missourians continue to have the ability to vote in free and fair elections. In order to protect the integrity of our elections, I believe it is vitally important to ensure those who vote are who they claim to be. In my opinion, the best way to do this is by requiring voters to prove their identity through a photo ID at the ballot box. From where I stand, this is a commonsense requirement that promotes transparency and provides an additional layer of security against the possibility of voter fraud. In addition, we already need a photo ID to accomplish most tasks in life, from opening a checking account to flying on a plane and more. In 2016, I was proud to support legislation that later became law requiring voters to show a photo ID in order to vote. Unfortunately, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down this requirement in 2020, but there is legislation moving through the General Assembly this year that I believe addresses the Court’s concerns with the photo ID requirement.

Overall, the public must have complete faith and confidence in our elections and their outcomes — our form of government depends on it. Whether it is requiring a photo ID at the polling place or other measures designed to protect our elections against fraud and abuse, I believe it is critical that the General Assembly continue to promote policies that ensure our elections are safe, secure and transparent.

It is an honor to serve our community in the Missouri Senate. If you have any other questions or concerns about state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at — we are honored to serve you.