Legislation to require photo identification to vote was approved in committee last week and this week received approval from the full House of Representatives. The premise of the bill is a very simple one – if you show up at the polling place to cast your vote, you should be able to prove that you are who you say you are. It’s a measure meant to protect the sanctity of the voting process and to ensure that every vote counts by removing the potential for fraud from the elections process.
The photo ID requirement is one we have seen several other states adopt over the years. While some may claim it is meant to prevent some voters from going to the polling place, the opposite is actually true. In Indiana, where they put a photo ID requirement in place in 2008, they’ve actually seen voter turnout improve. In fact, it was a professor from our own University of Missouri who did a study that showed voter turnout increased after the law was in place. It’s a positive change I think can be attributed to the fact voters in Indiana had more confidence that the voting process was fair and free from fraud with the requirement in place.
This year we will work to give voters the chance to approve a similar system here in Missouri. The bills are making their way through the process now and I’ll do my best to keep you updated as they take major steps forward in the coming weeks.