Monday, February 18, 2013

Conway: We don't need photo voter ID

In his latest report, Sen. Pat Conway, D-St. Joseph, like most of the rest of the civilized world, is wondering why in the world it is so important for Missouri to have a photo voter ID law when there has never been a case reported of anyone attempting to vote fraudulently.

For the eighth straight year, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Feb. 14 approved legislation that seeks to require Missourians to show government-issued photo identification at their polling place in order to vote. Such a requirement could potentially disenfranchise many of the estimated 250,000 Missourians -- mostly elderly, poor, disabled and minority voters -- who don’t posses a driver’s license or other government ID and can’t easily obtain one. The House action, which Democrats opposed, came on a pair of companion measures, which now move to the Senate.

HJR 5, a proposed constitutional amendment that would appear on the November 2014 statewide ballot for voter ratification, passed 107-46. It would grant the General Assembly the power to impose a photo voter ID requirement in an attempt to overrule a 2006 Missouri Supreme Court decision that said lawmakers lack such authority under the state constitution. HB 48, which passed 105-48, would implement the ID requirement, contingent upon voter approval of HJR 5.

In addition to the 2006 photo voter ID law the Supreme Court invalidated, Republican lawmakers also passed a proposed photo voter ID constitutional amendment, along with implementing legislation, in 2011. Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the implementing bill, and the proposed amendment didn’t go on the November 2012 ballot as scheduled after a judge ruled Republican lawmakers had crafted “insufficient and unfair” ballot language for it that was designed to deceive voters.

As the Supreme Court noted in its 2006 decision, the only type of fraud that a photo voter ID requirement could prevent is voter impersonation at the polls. There has never been a reported case of voter impersonation in Missouri.


Anonymous said...

Pat Conway, look at it this way.

A photo ID with a mag-strip with individuals details could be handed to the poll judge; the judge could verify the card belongs to the face presenting it; the election judge could then swipe the card into a scanner to verify validity and approve the voter to vote; the voter could then swipe the card into the electronic voting machine and all of the candidates and issues specific to that voter could appear on a touch screen; and, after voting and touching the 'finished' icon the electronic records would not allow another vote using that card until the next election.

Issuing the card could be as easy as getting a drivers license.

Thank of the long-term savings in the election process and voter fraud would then be easily identified if a poll judge allowed the wrong person to cast a ballot. Punish this by some time in the slammer and the voting process is safe and sound and this bull shit stops.

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea. Conway, a former County Clerk, should understand this, but he was basically a go-along-to-get-along office holder.

If Missouri would pass a law allowing this type of process, the vendors would develop a system and compete for each county voter system when the system became outdated and needed to be replaced.

Grow into this system, and yes, make the voting card multipurpose with a photo.