This week Governor Nixon vetoed HB 1631, a bill that would have required citizens to have a government issued photo ID to vote. In vetoing the measure the governor said that voter fraud was an extremely “rare occurrence” and that the real purpose of the bill was to make it more difficult for certain Missourians, including the elderly and ethnic minorities, to vote.
Under the bill, voters without a photo ID can sign an affidavit at the polls, swearing they are who they say they are under penalty of perjury. Their vote counts as long as their signature matches the one on file. The bill also had exemptions for anyone born before 1946, anyone with a disability and those with religious objections to their photo being taken. Under the measure the state is also responsible for paying for the IDs and any documents needed to get them.
The sponsor of HB 1631, Rep. Justin Alferman (R-Hermann) promised the Legislature would override the governor’s veto in September. The bill is also tied to a referendum measure that citizens will vote on in November, affirming the constitutionality of photo IDs for voting. HB 1631 would provide a framework for photo IDs.