Photo ID law draws more opposition at the Capitol

4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, April 12 2016 Apr 12, 2016 Tuesday, April 12, 2016 2:23:00 PM CDT April 12, 2016 in News
By: Connor Smith, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - The NAACP gathered at the Capitol Tuesday to show its opposition to Missouri's proposed photo ID law. 

The Missouri NAACP President said Tuesday's rally at the Capitol was the largest the organization has hosted in two decades.

The event comes one day after Senate Democrats filibustered the republican proposal.

Secretary of State Jason Kander spoke at the event and said the proposal could deprive some Missourians, mostly minorities and low-income populations, of their right to vote.

"The constitutional amendment and legislation that they're pushing this year could disenfranchise over 200,000 currently eligible Missouri voters," Kander said.

Sen. Will Kraus, R-Jackson County, said republicans are trying to protect the election process. 

"I absolutely 100 percent disagree with Secretary of State Kander," he said. "I think it's disappointing he's using that rhetoric. The fact of the matter is we're trying to protect the election process by simply identifying who comes to the poll and making sure we verify who that person is." 

Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, spoke at the NAACP event. He said the republican proposal would be taking a step back in the civil rights movement.

"I'm angry that we had people die for the right to vote and then we turn around and say the vote is no longer a right, we want to make it a privilege," Ellington said.

Republicans have been attempting to pass voting requirements for more than a decade. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that requiring a photo ID was unconstitutional. In 2011, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed another photo ID bill.  

Kraus said this year's proposal is about safeguarding the election process. He said a case of voter fraud from 2013 changed the results of an election in Missouri.

"When you look at the facts of people trying to cheat elections it makes sense for us to protect the election process," Kraus said. 

The proposed bill currently sits on the Senate's informal calendar and the majority party can bring it back to the floor at any time. Kraus said the Senate has spent five hours on the bill since it passed through the House of Representatives.

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