Bill requiring photo ID from voters returns to Missouri Senate

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | 5:15 p.m. CDT; updated 9:13 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — In a 99-52 vote, Missouri's controversial voter ID bill was passed with amendments by the Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The bill will make it a requirement for voters to present a nonexpired, government-issued photo ID upon entrance to their polling place.

Rep. John Diehl, R-St. Louis County, is handling the bill in the House. He said the bill will cut down on voter fraud.

"It's to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat," Diehl said. "It makes sure the person who presents themselves at the polling place is the person that they say that they are."

Opponents to the bill argue that the requirement of a photo ID targets constituents without means or ability to obtain an ID, such as immigrants and elderly persons.

Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis County, opposes the bill and said it does nothing to curtail voter-registration fraud.

"The only thing this bill does, representative, is to make sure that we have current registered voters who are no longer able to vote," Newman said. "I find it disgusting. This is not democracy; this is voter intimidation, voter suppression."

The bill will now return to the Senate for approval before it heads to the governor.

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