Last week, Missouri’s Democrat governor Jay Nixon vetoed a photo voter ID bill passed by the state’s legislature with a veto-proof majority. In his veto letter Governor Nixon twice stated, rightly, that “disenfranchising” eligible voters is “wrong” and “unacceptable.” But the compromise bill he vetoed does nothing to disenfranchise any eligible voters.
“Gov. Nixon has been pretty clear that having integrity in our elections is not a priority for him,” [House bill sponsor Rep. Justin] Alferman said. “He’s flat out lying when he’s saying it will disenfranchise voters. We’ve gone above and beyond any other voter ID bill in the entire country to make sure people can vote.”
Under HB 1631, any eligible voters without one of the accepted forms of photo identification can sign “a statement, under penalty of perjury, averring that the individual is the person listed in the precinct register,” show a non-photo ID such as is required under current law, and vote a regular ballot.
Eligible voters who choose not to sign the statement can vote a provisional ballot, which will be counted when an “election authority verifies the identity of the individual by comparing that individual’s signature to the signature on file with the election authority.”
Voters incapacitated due to illness or physical disability can vote an absentee ballot by mail, bypassing the photo ID requirement. And of course the state will provide photo identification acceptable for voting free of charge to any eligible voters without such ID.
Where is the eligible voter who is “disenfranchised”?
Nixon also trotted out the old canard that voter fraud is “a problem which does not exist” and claimed that “voter impersonation fraud is a very rare occurrence.” But as Senate sponsor Will Krause noted, “Currently there is no way to detect voter impersonation fraud when it happens. This common-sense requirement would have protected the integrity and fairness of our election process in Missouri while still making it easy for Missourians to cast their ballot.”
The legislature expects to override Nixon’s veto during its September 14 veto session, and the enabling constitutional amendment will be on the November ballot for voters to decide.