Cole County Judge Hears Debate Over Voter ID Act
Carnahan says about 240,000 registered voters lack the proper identification for voting as required under the new law. The law states that in order to vote, you must show a government-issued photo ID to vote, starting with the november elections.
Some Missourians hope to reverse the law. They say the law violates their constitutional right to vote and that it imposes extra costs on local governments and Missourians.
"The Missouri Voter Protection Act is going to have a dilitorious effect on disabled, elderly, disadvantaged poor people who don't have the wherewithal to obtain the necessary photo I.D." Burt Newman, a plaintiff in the suit said.
Citizens can get a state photo ID for free as long as they can produce a birth certificate for verification. If an applicant doesn't have a birth certificate, the state charges $15 for a new one.
"If you happen to be one of the many women in the state who happened to change their name when they got married, you are also going to have to get a copy of a certified marriage license showing what your current name is," said Don Downing, a plaintiff. "If you happen to be a woman whose been divorced and take another name or remarried then you are going to have to get a copy of that divorce decree."
Supporters say the new law is needed to prevent voter fraud. The plaintiffs hope the case will be wrapped up within a few weeks. If the law isn't reversed, Missouri will join Indiana as the only other state that has voter photo ID requirements.