Republican Secretary of State candidate talks voter ID
JEFFERSON CITY - Republican candidate for Missouri Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft, has been traveling around Missouri to promote his campaign for voter ID.
Thursday, he stopped in Jefferson City to address the press and other Missouri residents with questions on his proposed documentation.
In the past, most notably in 2006 and 2011, Republicans have tried and failed to pass a voter ID document. In 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court found it unconstitutional and in 2011 Gov. Jay Nixon struck down the proposed constitutional amendment.
This time around Ashcroft is trying to amend the constitution to allow lawmakers to pass a bill requiring voters to provide their photo ID while voting.
He said since he has such a large staff helping him circulate the petition, it shouldn't have a problem reaching the ballot.
"We are looking for 10 thousand volunteers across the state to help us collect signatures," Ashcroft said, "There hasn't been a problem with people voting it down. People haven't even been given the opportunity to vote on it."
Executive Director with Empower Missouri, Jeanette Oxford said the way that Ashcroft is trying to get the bill on the ballot takes a lot of money.
"Since this is being kicked off by a candidate with his attention divided with his own race I don't know if the structure is there to successfully put this on the ballot," Oxford said.
Ashcroft said he hopes to draw some opponents to his side by offering to supply voters with free IDs should the documentation pass.
Oxford said the free IDs would offer some solution to the problem at hand but wouldn't solve what issues would arise should the documentation pass.
"It doesn't solve the problem for everybody," Oxford said, "It just provides those free licenses who have an economic burden."
Voter fraud is the main argument Ashcroft brought up and he said requiring an ID for voters would prevent this from happening.
"As a state and as a government, we ought to be sure that every single person's vote counts," Ashcroft said.
Both current Secretary of State Jason Kandor (Democrat) and Secretary of State candidate, Will Kraus (Republican) are supporting Ashcroft's proposal.
Ashcroft said petitions to get the bill on the ballot will be circulating as soon as Monday.