New voter ID legislation moves to Mo. Senate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Republican-led Missouri House has advanced a new effort to require voters to show photo identification at polling places.

The bill was sent to the Senate on Thursday. Since 2006, Missouri lawmakers have tried and failed to pass similar legislation. But this year,  Republicans have veto-proof majorities in the House and the Senate.

House Bills 48 and 216 would change the state constitution and require a state-issued picture ID, or specific federal ID such as a passport or current military identification, to vote.

Republicans say photo identification will help the state prevent voting fraud. But democrats say the legislation would put an unnecessary burden on voters.

Denise Lieberman, with the Advancement Project, said 90 percent of voters have valid state issued  IDs -- but says lawmakers have to consider the other 10 percent.

"The photo ID requirements that were passed by the house cannot be implemented. They are currently illegal in Missouri," Lieberman said. "That's why legislators, along with the requirements, passed a resolution to change our constitution to weaken the right to vote provision."

Lieberman said the legislation is expected to cost Missouri voters $10 million, which includes the cost to retrain poll workers and offer free state ID's to those who can't afford them.

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