Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed enabling legislation that would have required a photo identification at the polls.
Lawmakers passed this year a constitutional amendment to allow for a photo identification requirement. The amendment also would have authorized an early voting period.
That amendment will be decided by voters in 2012. But in order for that amendment to become law, a standalone bill would have to pass and be signed by the governor. That was what Nixon vetoed on Friday.
“This new mandate would disproportionately impact senior citizens and persons with disabilities, among others, who are qualified to vote and have been lawfully voting since becoming eligible to do so,” Nixon said in a veto letter of the bill.
While GOP lawmakers could hypothetically try to override Nixon’s veto, it is unlikely they will procure enough votes in the House. House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, said in a statement that House Democrats are united on this issue, something that was block Republicans from an override.
Essentially, supporters of a photo identification bill will either have to obtain a veto-proof majority in the House or wait until Nixon is no longer governor to achieve their goal.
Interestingly, Sen. Bill Stouffer - a Napton Republican who sponsored the measure - said “if the enabling legislation is vetoed and if by chance you wind up with a Republican Legislature in 2013, my guess is you get photo ID without early voting.”
No, that headline has nothing to do with Lebron James.
Rather, Gov. Jay Nixon will need to make a decision on whether to sign or veto legislation that would implement a photo identification requirement. As the AP’s David Lieb notes, the decision may not be as cut-and-dry as previously thought:
Now that he is governor, Nixon will have to decide whether to follow through with his earlier convictions and veto legislation that would implement a photo identification requirement. The catch is that the measure is paired with a provision allowing an early voting period before elections - a proposal that Nixon supports.
The politically sticky situation for Nixon is the result of some maneuvering by Republican legislative leaders who for years have sought to implement a photo ID requirement for voters but had resisted efforts to allow a period during which people can cast ballots - with no absentee excuse needed - before the official election day.
This year, lawmakers passed a pair of measures on the subject. They referred a proposed constitutional amendment to the 2012 ballot that, if approved by voters, would authorize both a photo ID mandate and an early voting period. They also passed a bill, which is pending before Nixon, to place specific details on both prongs of the voting law changes into state statute.
Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, told me earlier this year that if Nixon vetoes the legislation and the constitutional amendment passed, it is highly unlikely early voting will be part of any subsequent bill.
Yesterday, I posted a video of Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, talking about efforts to implement a photo identification requirement at the polls. Before that interview, I caught up with Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis City, about the issue. You can hear his thoughts on the push to institute a Photo ID requirement by clicking on the above audio file.
The Missouri Senate is debating a ballot item that would enable the legislature to require a a photo identification at the polls.
This short clip features Sens. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, and Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake, discussing whether incorporate early voting into the proposed amendment. Democrats have typically filibustered photo identification requirements since a measure was declares unconstitutional in 2006.