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No surprise; Nixon vetoes photo ID voting requirement

File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Legislation that would have required Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls has been vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

"(House Bill 1631) is such an affront to Missourians' fundamental right to vote that it requires that our Constitution be amended for its voter suppression provisions to become effective," Nixon said in his veto letter. "Making voting more difficult for qualified voters and disenfranchising certain classes of people is wrong. I will (also) oppose the constitutional amendment in November."

His full veto letter can be viewed here.

Nixon, a Democrat, has vetoed similar photo ID bills passed by Republican lawmakers that made it to his desk during his two terms in office.

Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, sponsored this year's version in the House.

"Democrats in the House and the Senate have continuously hammered down the same message that this bill creates an unnecessary burden or is in any way disenfranchising voters in the state of Missouri," Alferman said. "Those are completely and absolutely false."

Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit, carried the bill in the Senate.

"To vote for governor or for president of the United States in the state of Missouri, you don't have to have a photo ID," he said. "Obviously it's something that's common sense (to require, because) almost everybody has an ID; this is just one way to protect the elections process."

Kraus is seeking the Republican nomination for Missouri secretary of state, the office that oversees elections in the Show-Me State.

Nixon's veto will likely be overridden, as HB1631 was passed with veto-proof majorities in both chambers. The veto session is scheduled for September.

Voters in November will decide whether to amend the state constitution to allow for a photo ID requirement for voting.

The General Assembly passed and former Gov. Matt Blunt signed into law Missouri's first photo ID requirement in 2006; it was later ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.