Posted: Jun 17, 2011 12:37 PM by Associated Press and Allie Spillyards
Updated: Jun 17, 2011 7:11 PM
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Friday that would have required voters to show photo identification and created an early-voting period in Missouri.
Nixon said he rejected the bill because the photo ID mandate could have made it harder for the disabled and elderly to vote.
"Governor Nixon is to be commended for protecting Missourians' right to vote by vetoing an unnecessary photo voter identification requirement that would do nothing to prevent fraud but potentially disenfranchise more than 20,000 legally registered voters," said House Minority Leader Rep. Mike Talboy, (D-Kansas City).
A proposed constitutional amendment on photo IDs and early voting still is set to appear on the 2012 ballot. But that measure only authorizes state laws on the two topics -- it does not require them.
Nixon's veto also affects a separate bill that would have implemented the photo ID and early voting provisions.
The Legislature passed a photo ID law in 2006, but the state supreme court struck it down as an infringement on the fundamental right to vote in the Missouri constitution.
"It is time for our election laws to enter the 21st century. My gut tells me he is thinking less secure elections will only benefit him next November," said bill sponsor Sen. Bill Stouffer, (R-Napton).
The general assembly will get the chance to overturn the legislation in a special veto session in mid-September.