Friday, February 15, 2013

Protecting the Vote

Our founding fathers envisioned a government that worked for the people, not against them.  Needless to say, they would probably not be too satisfied with the mess that is the Washington, D.C. of today.  As the Washington insiders and career politicians continue to lose touch with what the people really desire and deserve from their government; I like to think that closer to home here in Jefferson City, we are keeping the founding fathers’ vision alive. Just this week, the Missouri House passed a key measure that ensures that our state government is a service to the people of this great state.

On Thursday, February 14 the House Third Read and Passed HCS HB 48 & 216 and HCS HJRs 5 & 12, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-Hartsville). This legislation requires a person to submit a specified form of photo identification in order to vote in a public election. HCS HJRs 5 & 12 creates a Voter ID ballot measure for approval of the people and HCS HBs 48 & 216 is the statutory laws that would govern Voter ID should the ballot measure prevail.

The goal of these proposals is to protect the sanctity and integrity of the election process, not to restrict anyone from voting.   Acceptable forms of identification under these measures include: non-expired Missouri driver’s or non-driver’s license; a document issued by the federal or state government that contains the individual’s name, signature, photograph and expiration date; or a photo ID issued by the National Guard, US Armed Forces or US Department of Veterans Affairs. There are also provisions in the statutes that would help Missourians who might not have or be able to afford an ID obtain a proper form of identification.  Even still, a voter can cast a provisional ballot should they not have the required identification – allowing everyone to partake in the democratic process while safeguarding against voter fraud.

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