Tuesday morning the House Elections Committee heard HB48 and HJR5, both sponsored by Rep. Tony Duggar (R-Hartville) - the Voter ID bill (which has been filed each of the last 8 years) and the resolution to put it on the ballot in 2014. Because of the 2006 Missouri Supreme Court decision that Voter ID is unconstitutional, we must first change our state constitution by a public vote to allow it.
Last week the committee first scheduled to meet at 6:45 am Tuesday January 29th - before the Capitol even unlocks the doors at 7am. You read that correctly.
There was an immediate outcry from the media and activists: House Committee Schedules Early Morning Hearing and then, just several hours after the first announcement, it was rescheduled for 8am.
The Elections committee hearing room was standing room only with media, legislators and those testifying against the bills - which went on for 3 1/2 hours. NO ONE testified IN FAVOR. Over 40 testified and/or submitted written testimony in opposition.
Testimony against both bills were heard from the Secretary of State's office; Denise Lieberman, of the national Advancement Project; Missouri ACLU; Missouri AFL-CIO; Missouri AARP; Missouri NEA and many individuals whose ability to vote would be severly impacted.
In fact, so many traveled to the Capitol in opposition of Voter ID that the hearing was allowed to continue by the chair for an additional hour following session adjournment. Stay tuned.
IN THE OUR DEMOCRACY, VOTING SHOULD BE FREE, FAIR AND EQUALLY ACCESSIBLE TO ALL. Voter ID restrictions are none of the above