Missouri ALEC Co-Chair: Missouri taking cues on voter id from ALEC

When Republicans start talking about "Voter Fraud," we know it's a dog whistle to an extremist base that has little regard for equal access to ballot boxes. In Ed Emery's latest video touting how awesome he thinks ALEC is, Missouri's ALEC co-chair and State Senator talks about one of his House colleagues getting new ideas from Texas to "control voter fraud."

Ed Emery: I was just talking to one of my colleagues from the Missouri House, he had dinner at a table with a group from Texas which is doing something on controlling voter fraud. And it's a new idea, well, it's new to me, it's a great workable idea and he's already directed his staff, and told them to start working with House Research on drafting legislation.

If this idea is anything like the Voter ID legislation that Texas passed, Sen. Emery and his yet-unnamed House colleague should take a long hard look at what's happened since the bill passed: it has discriminated against women, students and minorities. The bill even prohibited a 93 year-old veteran from voting because he no longer drives. Worst of all, if Emery and his legislative colleague are looking to use Texas' voter ID bill as a model, a bill that closely matches ALEC's model legislation, they should be forewarned that portions of it have been thrown out by the courts for... you guessed it, violating the Voting Rights Act.

In a 147-page opinion issued in the fall of 2014 after a two-week trial, a district court judge, Nelva Gonzales Ramos, said the law “creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote” and blocked its enforcement.

She noted the lack of evidence that voter fraud was a threat and cited expert testimony that about 600,000 Texans, mainly poor, black and Hispanic, lacked the newly required IDs and often faced obstacles in obtaining them.

-New York Times

It's no surprise that the folks who have difficulty obtaining IDs in order to vote are people who typically don't vote Republican. The Voting Rights Act is still a big deal, especially here in Missouri where the leading GOP Secretary of State candidates support laws that restrict your ability to vote.

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