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A federal appeals panel ruled that Texas actively tried to undermine voting rights for some of its citizens, and that their voter ID law violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
In 2011 when Texas implemented their photo voter ID law, 600,000 Texans lost their right to vote because they did not have access to the “right” kind of ID. The state failed to prove this law prevented voter fraud, as they claimed before passing it four years ago.
The photo voter ID bill that comes up time and time again in the Missouri Legislature is extremely similar to the Texas law that was just struck down.
It is estimated that 150,000 registered voters in Missouri don't have state issued photo identifications, and another 70,000 have expired photo IDs, these Missourians would be stripped of their voting rights.
Secretary of State, Jason Kander, said this of the legislation in 2014:
"As the state’s chief elections officer, it is my job to make sure that only eligible voters vote, but also that every eligible voter has the opportunity to vote. This proposed legislation could keep hundreds of thousands of current Missouri voters from voting, which is not only just wrong, but unconstitutional."
Jay Ashcroft took it upon himself to promote a petition for a constitutional photo voter ID amendment, and Will Kraus led the push for a similar measure in the Senate last session.
"This is an idea whose time really came in 2006 when it was thrown out by the MO Supreme court," Ashcroft said. "We’ve waited the last nine years for the legislature to do that and it’s time for people to bring this commonsense solution to help mitigate election fraud and get that passed in the state."
Kraus said photo identification is required to get other government services, and wondered aloud why voting should be different. “You had to bring that photo ID to get your government cell phone.”
The Missouri Supreme Court struck down a photo voter ID law in 2006, therefore extremists are trying to change the Missouri constitution. Photo voter ID laws have been proven time and time again to restrict access to voting for certain populations, and the courts continue to rule against them. This is why we need the Voting Rights Act and why it continues to be important to this very day.