League Testimony

Legislative Session – 2016 – Required Voter ID

The LWVMO testified at the House Elections Committee hearing on January 12, 2016 and a copy of the testimony was sent to each member of the Senate Financial and Government Organizations and Elections Committee.

Here is the statement:

The League is strongly opposed to SJR20 and HJR53 and the enabling legislation SB594/HB 1631.

Let’s deal with the real voting challenge— encouraging all of our citizens to vote by making elections as accessible and efficient as possible.

Protecting the right to vote and making elections equally accessible and fair to all is the most important thing we can do to strengthen our democracy. This legislation creates barriers to those citizens who lack a state ID and would face difficulties to procure one. Those groups that this legislation claims it would protect through exemptions would actually be disenfranchised. The provisional ballots they would be forced to cast would not be counted unless other requirements were met, (coming back to the polls with required ID, having their signatures validated if skeptical election judges determined they did not match the election books, the election was not close, etc.).

The real photo ID problem that the legislature should deal with immediately is meeting federal requirements so that Missouri’s drivers’ licenses meet the TSA requirements following the 2-year emergency extension just granted.

This proposed legislation is not a prudent use of taxpayers’ money. According to the Brennan Center it will take more than $7 million to implement this legislation. Precious dollars are needed to fund essential services such as education, health care, and transportation. $7 million plus dollars to deal with a voter fraud problem that has not been demonstrated to exist is a waste of tax dollars.

Missouri has serious challenges that it must meet with limited resources. Voter fraud is not one of them.

Let’s be part of the solution by dropping this legislation.

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