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Missouri Lawmakers Vote For Voter Photo ID

David Shane
The Missouri legislature has approved a scaled-back version of a workers' compensation reform bill. It now heads to Gov. Jay Nixon.

  Missouri lawmakers have overridden Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a measure to require voters to present photo identification at the polls.

The Republican-led Legislature overturned the Democratic governor's veto Wednesday after GOP senators forced an end to debate.

Lawmakers' action is the first step to enact the policy in the state. Voters on Nov. 8 also must vote to amend the Missouri Constitution to allow for a photo identification law in order for the policy to be enacted.

That's needed because the Missouri Supreme Court has previously found voter photo ID laws to be unconstitutional.

The legislation requires voters to show a photo ID starting in 2017, if a separate proposed constitutional amendment authorizing a photo ID mandate is approved on the November ballot.

Missouri's proposed requirement contains numerous exceptions. If voters swear they don't have photo IDs, they would still be allowed to vote by showing other forms of identification. The bill also requires the state to pay for photo IDs for those lacking them.

Supporters say photo ID is needed to prevent fraud. Opponents say that's not a problem in Missouri, and it will disenfranchise the elderly, disabled people and others who might struggle to obtain the needed identification.

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