Court strikes down MO photo ID proposal

Mar 29, 2012

As of now, Missouri voters will not be voting this November on a measure that would require photo identification at the polls. That’s following a court ruling issued earlier this week.

Last May, Missouri Legislature approved a constitutional amendment that would require voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls. The state House added a summary that voters would see on the ballot in November. Opponents of photo I-D challenged it, saying it was unfair. A judge agreed, pointing out, for example, that the summary references the “Voter Protection Act” – words that appear nowhere in the amendment.  Republican state Senator Bill Stouffer, the amendment’s sponsor, says he thought there might be problems with the language – but did not have time to change it.

“I had assumed that the court would just rewrite the title and move on. That disappoints me some,” Stouffer said.

Longtime photo I-D opponent William Lacy Clay, the Democratic Congressman, applauded the court for stopping what he called the “deception” early.

“We’ve seen it in other states where the citizens thought it was a good government measure, and it’s anything but that. This is a flawed attempt to turn back the clock on the voting rights that we’ve achieved in this country over the last 100 years,” Clay said.

Meantime, Stouffer says there’s plenty of time left in the legislative session to write a better summary.