Thursday, July 07, 2016

Nixon vetoes voter photo ID bill

(From Gov Jay Nixon)

Gov. Jay Nixon today took action on a number of elections-related measures including vetoing a photo identification bill that would have made it more difficult for Missourians to vote. House Bill 1631 would have had a disproportionate impact on senior citizens, Missourians with disabilities, and other individuals who have been lawfully voting since becoming eligible, but do not have a government-issued photo ID.

“This legislation is such an affront to Missourians’ fundamental right to vote that it requires that our Constitution be amended for its voter suppression provisions to become effective,” Gov. Nixon said in his veto message. “Making voting more difficult for qualified voters and disenfranchising certain classes of people is wrong.”

The Governor’s veto letter is available here.

Gov. Nixon signed Senate Bill 786 to streamline and modernize campaign filing requirements and expand the authority of the Missouri Secretary of State to investigate and help prosecute election offenses. Under Senate Bill 786, if the Secretary of State finds reasonable cause that an election offense has been committed he or she can issue a probable cause statement and refer the case to the prosecuting attorney. The Secretary of State will also be authorized to assist any prosecuting attorney or circuit attorney in the prosecution of an election offense, upon request.

Gov. Nixon vetoed House Bill 1474, which contains the same provisions as Senate Bill 786, but with an earlier effective date that would not have provided sufficient time for the Missouri Ethics Commission to implement these changes and prevent confusion among candidates running in the current election cycle. The Governor’s veto letter is available here.

Gov. Nixon also signed the following bills:
House Bill 1477, which relates to political party committees and their requirements and structure, including changing eligibility requirements for committee membership and positions.
House Bill 1480, which allows absentee ballots to be counted using voting machines and specifies procedures for votes by mail and those sealed in envelopes.

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