Jay Ashcroft, a Republican candidate for Missouri secretary of state, is pushing an initiative petition that would allow the Legislature to require voters to present photo identification at the polls.
The St. Louis attorney filed a proposed constitutional amendment with the secretary of state's office on Thursday. This amendment would permit voter photo ID requirements.
According to the Secretary of State's website, an initiative petition is a method through which a Missouri citizen can attempt to get an issue on the ballot. Presenting the initiative petition to the secretary of state’s office is the very first step in the process.
Ashcroft explained voter ID requirements have struggled in the legislature since the state's Supreme Court struck them down as unconstitutional in 2006.
“Since then the legislature has tried to put an amendment on the ballot for the people of the state to vote on," Ashcroft said. "The house has passed it the last three years. It hasn’t made it through the Senate. So I decided when the legislature was unable to do it to start a petition drive to make a change to the Missouri constitution that would allow the people, should they want to, to create a photo ID requirement for voting.”
Ashcroft said this initiative, if successful, would be placed on the November 2016 ballot.
Ashcroft entered the 2016 race for Secretary of State in February. He did this after current Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat, announced a bid for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Roy Blunt.
Republican Sen. Will Kraus, of Lee's Summit, is also seeking the GOP nomination for the 2016 secretary of state race and has introduced measures to place voter ID on the ballot.