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Friday, May 9, 2008


With only a few days remaining in the legislative session, the House of Representatives on May 8 endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to require voters to show a photo ID at their polling place as a condition of voting. The House approved the measure on a near party-line vote of 88-69 with all Democrats opposed and all but one Republican in support.

HJR 48 seeks to overturn a Missouri Supreme Court decision that declared a 2006 photo ID law unconstitutional. In that case the court ruled that since the Missouri Constitution guarantees voting rights to all Missouri residents who are age 18 or older, U.S. residents and registered to vote, the legislature is prohibited from imposing additional voting rights restrictions, such as photo ID, that aren’t constitutional authorized.

Because the measure must still go through a Senate committee and win approval of the full Senate, where Democrats are expected to filibuster, with just five days remaining in the legislative session, the chances of it winning final passage are uncertain. If the measure clears the legislature, it would automatically go on the statewide ballot in November unless Gov. Matt Blunt exercises his authority to set the vote for August.

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