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Mo. House passes voter ID bill

Missouri House chamber.
Bill Greenblatt
Missouri House chamber.

TheMissouri Househas passedlegislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Before the vote, Democrats hammered away at Republicans’ arguments that the bill would combat voter fraud, saying there hasn’t been a documented case of voter fraud in decades – and that the bill does nothing to deal with voter registration fraud.  State Representative Todd Richardson(R, Poplar Bluff) disagreed.

“If you’re willing to fill out a fraudulent voter registration (form), what’s your intent?  It’s to fraudulently vote," Richardson said.  "This bill does deal with that issue, because if someone tries to fraudulently vote with a fraudulent registration, they’ve now got to produce an ID.”

State Representative Stacey Newman (D, St. Louis County) called the measure part of a tidal wave of assaults on voting rights across the country.

“Voting right attacks is the flip-side of buying a democracy," Newman said.  "First, you buy all the leaders that you can, and then you suppress as many voters as you possibly can, because we all know these voters are not voting correctly.”

The bill passed 101 to 54, with every Republican present voting “yes” and every Democrat present voting “no.” Governor Jay Nixon(D) vetoed a similar bill last year.  It now goes to the Missouri Senate, wherethat chamber’s versionis awaiting debate. 

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