Missouri Lawmaker Pre-Files Voter ID Constitutional Amendment

For the third time in as many years, Missouri lawmakers have proposed legislation to require voter ID in the Show Me State.

This week, state Sen. Will Kraus (R) pre-filed SJR 6, a constitutional amendment which would require a voter “to identify himself or herself as a United States Citizen and a resident of the state by producing valid, government-issued photo identification.” It would face a voter referendum if approved.

A similar measure passed the legislature earlier this year, but was struck down by a state judge before it reached the ballot because of problems with the ballot language. Republicans tried to enact voter ID in 2011 as well, but the bill was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon (D). Nixon cannot veto constitutional amendment language, however, like Kraus has proposed.

In 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down an earlier voter ID law in a 6-1 vote because it violated the state constitution’s guarantee of the right to vote. Kraus’s bill, however, would amend the state constitution to permit a voter ID requirement.

If the bill up passing, a quarter of a million Missourians could be disenfranchised. A 2009 study by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) identified 230,000 registered voters who may not have the necessary government-issued photo ID.