Push for voter ID marches on in Missouri

At the end of March, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Pat Joyce struck down Missouri’s proposed voter ID constitutional amendment (SJR 2) on the grounds that the ballot summary is “insufficient and unfair.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialized, “In a perverted, poetic justice kind of way, it's pitch perfect that in their alleged attempt to stop voter fraud, Missouri Republicans committed, well, fraud.”

Prospects for an appeal are unclear, but the legislature immediately began working on contingency plans.

HCR 53 has already passed the House and made it out of committee in the Senate. It reconsiders last session’s bill with a new amendment, but the Secretary of State’s office has said that the General Assembly can’t correct its mistake by going this route. Enter a brand new bill, HJR 89, which could hit the House floor any day now.

If and when Missouri passes a constitutional amendment, the legislature will have to pass, or already have passed, enacting legislation. HB 1104 is out of the House and through committee in the Senate.

Representative Shane Schoeller, an ALEC member who is running for Secretary of State, is behind all three proposals.

Though Representative Schoeller’s separate effort (HB 2109) to pass proof of citizenship for voter registration made it out of House committee at the end of April, it may be stalled given the ruling against proof of citizenship in Arizona.

Missouri’s legislature is expected to adjourn at the end of May.

For more information, check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.

PFAW Foundation