Missouri Senate approves voter-ID law; it now moves to House

JEFFERSON CITY | The Missouri Senate this morning passed a bill to require voters to provide photo identification at the polls.

The measure now moves to the House for consideration.

The voter-ID issue has been a perennial one in the legislature, and typically has passed the House easily before being killed in the Senate.

Republicans favor voter-ID as a means to combat fraud at the ballot box, while Democrats contend such fraud does not exist and that the practical effect would be to strip voting rights from Missourians without access to photo identification.

Sen. Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat, tweeted following the debate that the Senate had “just voted to disenfranchise at least 230,000 voters.”

The Senate’s 26-7 vote today doesn’t mean the measure has an easy path to passage, though.

The measure approved was a change to state law. Accompanying it is a state constitutional amendment that explicitly allows for a photo-ID requirement.

The law will not be effective unless the amendment is approved as well.

The Senate gave first round approval to the amendment yesterday, but has not yet considered it for final passage.