JEFFERSON CITY – As the legislative session draws to a close, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said he is happy with the results of the year.
“We’re really excited with how it has gone. We were able to get the appropriate funding for photo ID to protect the ballot box,” Ashcroft said.
While opponents say photo identification legislation in regards to voting can make it difficult for some to vote, Ashcroft said the new bill would not do this.
“When you look at how the law is drafted, and the protections that were put in to make sure every voter can vote, I feel good about it. As I campaigned I said I was fully in favor of a photo ID law to help protect against fraud. But if you’re going to do that you have to make sure it doesn’t disenfranchise voters, and this doesn’t do that.”
He said anyone who is struggling to vote should call his office for help.
Ashcroft also praised the legislature for efforts made with the Safe at Home program to protect domestic violence survivors and in making library archives more available.
He also responded to the ethics debate, which has taken place within the legislature this year.
“I think far too often you have a government that ignores ethics. Our legislature has done a lot of discussion, and that’s part of the process. They take all the ideas and look at different opinions and find the best way to resolve it,” Ashcroft said.
While the session is ending, Ashcroft said he and the legislature will continue to work over the break so they can hit the ground running come next session.
“A lot of people think the legislature stops when everyone leaves at 6:01. I’m excited about continuing to work while the legislature is out of session with those individuals to get ready for the next legislative session.”
As for his plans for the future, Ashcroft says he looks forward to advancing the photo ID voting law and working to further help domestic violence survivors.
“We’re going to be rolling out photo ID. It’s a big thing we’ve talked about to secure the ballot and make sure people know they can vote, but we’re also going to be working with the legislature for things we can do with regards to state regulations to strengthen the Safe at Home program and other areas of the law,” Ashcroft said.
Ashcroft said he looks positively toward the future and hopes to see more successes past in the coming sessions.