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Action Alert on Voter Photo ID Bills



To League of Women Voters of Missouri: 

Restrictive Photo ID proposals are quickly moving through the Missouri legislature. They have already passed the House and on Monday afternoon, they were passed out of a Senate Committee. These could make it harder for 250,000 Missouri voters to cast a ballot.

Elections cannot be FREE, FAIR and ACCESSIBLE if all who are eligible are not allowed a voice. 

We expect these bills to come to a floor vote in the Senate this week! 

TAKE ACTION NOW! 

1) Urge your Senator to Vote NO on HB48 and HJR5. Call or email your Senator as soon as possible!

Please write your Senator as a constituent, not a League member. Talking points are below. Find your senator's contact information here - http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/leg_lookup.aspx

Thank you for taking a stand to protect the rights of Missouri voters. Some talking points are listed, but please personalize your story as much as possible.

FACT SHEET ON PHOTO ID

TALKING POINTS on Photo ID

  • Elections should be FREE, FAIR and ACCESSIBLE to all who are eligible. The photo ID bills make it harder for many valid, eligible voters to cast a ballot.
  • Voting is the one time we are all equal – young or old, rich or poor, educated or un-educated. But that doesn’t work if some people are denied a voice. These photo ID proposals would relegate 250,000 Missouri voters to second-class citizens.
  • Missouri already requires ALL voters to show ID.  It works. There has never been an instance of voter impersonation in Missouri.
  • Politicians shouldn’t make it harder to vote in order to manipulate the system for political gain. We shouldn’t make voting harder than it needs to be.
  • These bills needlessly restrict ID. The bills would not allow a college ID, driver’s license from another state, an expired ID, voter registration card, utility bill or other currently acceptable ID that can effectively verify a voter’s identity.
  • 250,000 Missouri voters lack a state ID. Seniors, African Americans, people with disabilities, the working poor and students are twice as likely to lack a non-expired Missouri-issued ID. These laws fall hardest on the elderly, veterans, young people and communities of color.
  • Photo ID laws are a modern-day poll tax. The barriers to getting IDs would effectively prevent many valid eligible voters from voting. It can be costly, difficult – even impossible – to get underlying documents (such as certified birth certificate or marriage license) required to get a state ID. (i.e., Joplin tornado victims, those born at home, those whose birth state can’t locate their records – may not be able to get the documents.)
  • Photo ID laws violate the right to vote. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a photo ID requirement is “a heavy and substantial burden on Missourian’s free exercise of the right of suffrage.” The proposals would weaken the constitutional protection for the right to vote.
  • Voter fraud is a serious crime, punishable by 5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and loss of voting for life
  • It is expensive – it could cost Missouri $7 - 20 million in the midst of a budget crisis – with no benefit to the integrity to elections. Photo ID doesn’t address voter registration or absentee voting problems. 

2) Tell your story! 

Do you lack a current Missouri ID? Is your ID from another state? Is your ID expired? Is there a typo on your birth certificate? Does the name on your birth certificate not match your voter registration? Would you have difficulty getting a certified copy of your birth certificate from Missouri or from another state? Would you have difficulty getting a copy of your marriage license or divorce decree? Were your records never formalized, or destroyed in a natural disaster? We need to tell the stories of how people stand to be affected by Photo ID laws. Please send  your story and please include these details in your communications to your senator. 

Also Contact dlieberman@advancementproject.org with stories.

The above information provided by the League 's affiliation with



Denise Lieberman, Senior Attorney
Missouri Voter Protection Advocate
Advancement Project
dlieberman@advancementproject.
org
(314) 780-1833
www.advancementproject.org



League of Women Voters of Missouri

Phone: 314-961-6869  l  Fax: 314-961-8393  l  www.lwvmissouri.org
8706 Manchester Road, Ste 104
St. Louis, Missouri 63144-2724

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