| KANSAS CITY, Mo.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday
overrode Governor Jay Nixon's veto of a bill requiring voters to
show government-issued photo identification in order to cast a
ballot in the state starting in 2017, after this year's
The Missouri Senate voted 24-7 for the override on the heels
of a 115-41 House vote earlier in the day. A two-thirds majority
was required in both chambers for the override.
The bill would take effect in 2017 if voters in November
pass a state constitutional amendment in support of the law.
That is necessary because the Missouri Supreme Court ruled 10
years ago that such a law violated the existing state
A spokesman for Nixon, who vetoed the bill in July, did not
immediately return a call seeking comment after the vote, but
the governor previously decried the law as disenfranchising
Courts in recent months have blocked voter ID laws passed in
several states with Republican-led legislatures after civil
rights groups argued the measures were discriminatory against
poor and minority voters.
Under the Missouri bill, voters will need to produce a
driver's license or other government identification with a photo
at the polls in order to vote. Residents without such an ID can
now show another current identifying document, such as a utility
bill or check, to vote.
Voters without a photo ID can still vote if they sign an
affidavit swearing to not having that type of identification.
However, election officials can take their picture and steps
must be taken to get a photo ID for later use, with the state
covering the cost.
Supporters of the bill said it brings integrity to the
voting process and will help prevent fraudulent votes.
"Why not have more certainty in the election process?"
Republican Rep. Justin Alferman, the bill's main sponsor, said
in a statement before the vote.
Opponents of the bill, however, have said the law
disenfranchises young, minority and low-income voters who may
not have government-issued IDs. Those voters are often
Democrats, according to opponents.
"Putting additional and unwanted barriers between citizens
and their ability to vote is wrong and detrimental to our system
of government as a whole," Nixon said in his letter explaining