Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nieves encourages override of governor's veto on Voter ID bill

In his latest report, Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, urges the legislature to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of SB 3, the voter ID bill. Nieves noted that it passed both chambers by wide margins, as if that is an indication that a bill is a good one.

What he fails to mention is that this is another one of those bills designed to correct evils that do not exist. Plus, it wasted more time that was supposed to be devoted to bringing jobs to Missouri.

Oh, wait, I forgot. According to Nieves' party, it is Nixon's fault that unemployment is so high. Nieves' report is printed below:

Last Friday, June 17, the governor vetoed SB 3, a voter ID measure on which many lawmakers have worked dutifully. The bill would have been a simple, efficient way to target voter fraud in our state, and I am very disappointed about the governor’s decision to veto the legislation. It doesn’t make sense to me that numerous, everyday tasks require photo identification, such as checking out a library book or renting a movie, but voters don’t need to present a government-issued, photo ID to vote. The right to vote is one of our most important liberties and it should be honored — not diluted by imposters who have the ability to alter the outcome of issues that Missourians care about.

When the governor vetoed the legislation, he stated that the photo ID requirement would “disproportionately impact senior citizens and persons with disabilities, among others, who are qualified to vote and have been lawfully voting since becoming eligible to do so, but are less likely to have a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID.” In addition, the governor declared that the bill “imposes unnecessary burdens on senior citizens and persons with disabilities, for example, who do not have a government-issued photo ID, with no guarantee that, in the end, their vote will count.” I completely disagree with the governor’s statements regarding this legislation. Allow me to explain why:

•Senate Bill 3 would have enhanced the election process by cracking down on voter fraud.
•Citizens would not have to present a photo ID until Missouri voters approved the constitutional amendment (SJR 2) allowing it – the constitutional amendment will still be voted on no later than November 2012.By vetoing the enabling language in SB 3, voters will be asked to amend the constitution without any knowledge of how that amendment would be enacted through state law. Those without a photo ID would have been allowed to cast a provisional ballot as long as their signatures match those on file with the election authority. This would have applied to:
•Missourians born before 1941.
•Physically and mentally disabled Missourians.
•Individuals unable to pay for documents needed to obtain a photo ID.
•Citizens with religious beliefs against photo IDs.
•Missourians whose license had been confiscated after an arrest or summons.

The bill received a solid rating of approval from the Legislature — the measure passed in the Senate with a vote of 26-7 on Feb. 17, and received the House’s stamp of approval with a vote of 99-52 on May 4. Given this support, I am hoping that the Legislature will vote to override this veto when the Missouri General Assembly meets for veto session in September.

No comments: