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Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014

A picture-perfect voting reform idea

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Here's something that's scary for Halloween. Why would Missouri Democrats oppose a plan to require Missouri voters to show a photo ID before voting? I certainly don't have an answer because it seems so simple to avoid voting fraud by requiring that voters simply show a photo ID. But during testimony over the plan last week, Missouri Democrats said they would probably oppose the plan during the upcoming session of the legislature.

All of these voter reforms stem from the election night fiasco in St. Louis last November when Democrats flooded the city precincts with unregistered voters. That caused Rep. Lacy Clay of St. Louis - in an obvious and orchestrated plan - to ask a judge to extend the voting hours. First approved by the courts and then moments later rejected, the voter snafu created havoc though it apparently had no impact on the voting outcome.

Now a number of reforms have been offered to reduce or eliminate these election day shenanigans. One such plan would simply have voters show a photo ID when they vote. That would certainly curb the number of illegal ballots that have been questioned in the past.

But the Democrats fear this idea would somehow keep voters from voting. Their logic is questionable and their motives suspect. I am honestly at a loss to understand why anyone would oppose such a plan. If your true aim is to reduce or eliminate voter fraud then doesn't it seem a logical first step would be to require voters to show some form of identification? And if someone is reluctant to provide identification, then wouldn't that make you suspect of that voter?

I question many of the proposals for voter reform in Missouri such as extending the voting period to allow for early voting. I think that plan is ripe for abuse. But the photo ID proposal just makes sense.



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