JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House third read and passed a bill proponents say would crack down on election fraud Wednesday.
HB 334, sponsored by Rep. John Simmons, would require Missourians voting in-person absentee to verify their identity. Those without valid identification on their person would be allowed to fill out a provisional ballot and return with the appropriate documents before their ballot is counted.
“The voters of Missouri want their votes protected and counted properly,” Simmons said. “They don’t want their votes to be disenfranchised by fraudulent votes. Showing a photo ID will help my constituents and your constituents ensure their vote is not disenfranchised.”
- Simmons pointed to prior Missouri Supreme Court rulings and 2016’s Amendment 6 ballot initiative, which required the presentation of IDs by voters and was passed with 63 of the state’s vote.
- Opponents argued that the bill would complicate the process for non-drivers and other Missourians who may not have access to the required documents.
- Missouri expanded its voting options last year due to the coronavirus pandemic; no-excuse absentee and mail-in voting were added for last year’s elections, and a handful of bills in the legislature this year seek to make it a permanent change.