Conservatives have grown increasingly concerned about election integrity in recent years, and that’s motivated Republican lawmakers to act.
The latest example came in Missouri this week when Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill aimed at strengthening voting rules.
Bill requires use of photo ID and makes other changes to how elections are carried out
According to KRCU Public radio, the legislation was sponsored by Republican state Rep. John Simmons and contains multiple provisions.
They include “prohibiting touch-screen voting machines” and “requiring election authorities to conduct cybersecurity reviews.”
New York Times reporter Neil Vigdor noted that the bill also abolishes Missouri’s presidential primary elections in favor of a series of caucuses, bans drop boxes, and prohibits local election officials from accepting private donations.
Perhaps most significantly, the legislation mandates that voters present a piece of government-issued photo ID when casting a ballot in person.
Vigdor explained that anyone without an ID will still be permitted to vote. However, the ballot will remain segregated until an ID is obtained or the voter’s signature can be matched by election officials.
State Supreme Court strikes down previous voter ID law
The reporter noted how voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2016 which led to tighter voter ID requirements.
While these included forcing those without acceptable to cast a provisional ballot along with a sworn affidavit, the state Supreme Court later ruled that the language used was “misleading and contradictory.”
Prior to the new bill, Missouri voters were permitted to use various forms of identification, some of which did not include a photograph. Among them were utility bills and voting cards.
In an interview with the Washington Missourian, Simmons said there are “some gaps in a lot of states” when it comes to voting laws and that he believes the legislation filled some of those gaps.”
“We have a pretty good system in our state already, but I think the last election showed we always ought to take a look and put our legislation or elections laws under the microscope a little bit and see where there were some gaps,” he was quoted as saying.