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Photo ID for voting is back on agenda for Missouri Legislature

Jay Ashcroft, Missouri secretary of state, is giving it another shot to legislate photo ID requirements for voting. Polls show Missourians favor voter ID.

“If you show up with a cable bill, that doesn’t identify you,” he said. “If you want to identify who someone is, you need something that lets you know that the identification is actually theirs and pertains to them. If you do not have a photo, you simply do not know that.”

Ashcroft appeared before both the House Elections and Elected Officials Committee and the Senate Interim Committee on Elections on Tuesday. Last month, Ashcroft’s office said it found two instances of alleged voter fraud. The news release said two people in St. Charles County voted at least twice with mail-in ballots sent to Florida as well as in person.

Ashcroft has said he is focused on safeguarding future elections in Missouri. Aside from photo ID, Ashcroft has pointed to hand-marked ballots, updated voter rolls and cybersecurity testing at local voting sites as priorities he wishes the legislature would tackle. Additionally, he would like the secretary of state to be able to audit election results.

Following the 2020 Presidential Election, voter security has become a hot topic. Across the nation, states are passing election integrity laws meant to shore up the confidence of voters.  Democrat Jimm Carter led a Congressional commission two decades ago that found voter fraud through mail-in ballots, vote harvesting and other controversial measures posed significant security issues for election. More recent investigations find that those issues remain a problem.

“We want to be proactive rather than reactive,” Ashcroft said. “We are not trying to enact legislation because something happened. We want to establish legislation that will prevent something from happening.”

Members of the House committee have been critical of the upper chamber for not passing any large election reform bills during the previous legislative session. House Republicans urged Gov. Mike Parson to call a special session focused on the proposals, but the state’s chief executive has not taken action on that request.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice