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Columbia Missourian

LETTER: Proposed government-issued ID voting requirement is wrong

By Jo Sapp
February 14, 2011 | 11:39 a.m. CST

Once again, the Missouri General Assembly is pushing a constitutional amendment that would make it possible to require a government-issued photo ID for voting. In 2006, a similar measure was struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court, but proponents of the measure seem incapable of taking "no" for an answer.

This requirement is especially burdensome for students who change residences frequently and might or might not have a current driver's license reflecting their most recent location. Recently married young women, too, are often affected. Other populations, too, are disproportionately affected: the poor, the elderly, the disabled, minorities and students. Estimates put the number in excess of 200,000 Missouri voters.

Proponents argue that this measure is necessary to prevent voter impersonation, yet there has not been a single instance of voter impersonation fraud in Missouri.

In a year when our budget is extremely strapped, does it make sense for them to spend their time on solving a problem that doesn't exist?

There's important work to be done in Jefferson City and little time to do it. When it comes to voting, our system works. It's time for our legislators to confront the real problems Missouri faces.

Jo Sapp lives in Columbia.