Mandatory Photo IDs Debated

1 decade 1 year 3 months ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:26:08 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News

About 95% of Missouri's registered voters already have a photo ID, although critics said requiring them will make voting more difficult for citizens who don't have one.

"It is not an inconvenience to make sure that the elections have integrity and are done well and guarantee that we don't have fraud," said Republican Sen. Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood.

The proposed law would exempt Missouri residents older than 65, and people with disabilities or certain religious beliefs can be exempt if they sign an affidavit. The bill also requires the state to pay for a non-driver's license photo ID for an estimated 170,000 Missourians who do not have a picture ID.

But, critics worry where the money will come from, as well as how the state will issue the IDs.

"If you are a legally registered voter in the state of Missouri, there should be no hindrance to your ability to vote," said Democratic Sen. Maida Coleman of St. Louis.

After several hours of debate Tuesday, the Senate sent the bill back to committee. Missouri's legislative session ends at 6:00 p.m. this Friday.

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