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Over the past few weeks, testimony was heard in a federal voting rights case challenging a photo ID law enacted by the state of Wisconsin. The judge is expected to issue a ruling by July.
As Missouri voters consider a similar, extreme photo ID amendment on November 8th, we don’t need to speculate about the repercussions if it were to pass. The vast legal costs, charged to taxpayers of course, and political motivations of such laws, which in Missouri could make it harder for 200,000+ eligible voters to cast a ballot, Wisconsin has already demonstrated.
Missouri legislators claim we need these laws to “prevent fraud,” despite ZERO instances of voter impersonation.
In Wisconsin, former staffers testified that their bosses behind close doors were “giddy” about the law, saying such thing as,
“What I’m concerned about here is winning.”
Over the coming months, we’ll hear how the state will pay for photo IDs for anyone in need, affording everyone the opportunity to vote. This assurance was also widely-reported in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, 20 percent of people who applied for the ID were denied -- 85 percent of whom were African American, Latino, or Native American.
And let’s be clear, these “free IDs” aren’t free. There’s no reimbursement for gas or bus fare, and no compensation for income lost for missing work. These are real costs and real burdens that affect an eligible voter’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote.
Come November, we need to put a stop to extreme photo ID in Missouri.