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True Intent of Voter ID Laws: Common Sense

By Jay Ashcroft, Republican candidate for Secretary of State

Having traveled to all 114 counting across the great state of Missouri, campaigning as a candidate for Secretary of State, there is strong consensus that the solution to a lot of issues and policy decisions we face as a state and nation is simple; apply common sense.

Seems rudimentary, right?

One of the most sacred rights in America is the right to vote. Protecting that right should be as valuable as the vote itself; therefore, requiring voters to show evidence that they are, in fact, who they claim to be, seems simple enough. Voter ID, to most, is a logical and common sense based approach to handle issues like voter fraud. A photo ID is required to function in today’s society. It is required to board a plane, to open a bank account and, oftentimes, to use a credit card.

Kyle Garner, a Democrat running for State Representative in Sedalia, recently penned an editorial in this very paper voicing his opposition to photo voter ID laws, targeting the current proposed Missouri constitutional amendment to require voter ID, which I strongly support. He calls voter ID an attack on the democratic process.

I believe it’s foolish to call voter ID an “attack” on the democratic process. In fact, voter ID strengthens and protects our process.

It has been proven times over that voter ID is not a burden to voters; it’s a measure of assurance to voters that their votes count. A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found 76 percent of all likely voters believe applying common sense and requiring voter identification before being allowed to vote is good policy.

Voter ID opponents consistently repeat the same talking points, such as voter suppression, undue burdens, and “poll tax.” The Wisconsin Journal Sentinel called Wisconsin’s spring primary a “test” of the state’s new voter ID law. “If voter ID was intended as a voter suppression tool, it has failed miserably,” the Journal reported.

Liberals will also claim that there is no voter fraud in Missouri. That’s false. Today, there is a member of the Missouri House of Representatives who was elected by individuals committing voter fraud. In fact, members of his family were convicted for their crimes. We’ve also had verified instances of fraud as recently as last year in Greene County, where a voter voted twice. It proves, yet again, that as long as we have elections, people will try to cheat our system. We must do what we can to create common sense safeguards, like passing a voter ID law for Missouri.

Additionally, voter ID opponents conveniently omit that Missouri’s proposal provides free identification to those who do not currently have one. Instead of burdening these voters, it will help in many aspects of their lives.

I’ve taken questions and listened to concerns from folks in every county of Missouri about the benefits of voter ID. There is strong consensus that it’s time we enact voter ID to ensure not only that every person’s right to vote counts, but also, that the threat of someone taking away their legitimate vote is nonexistent.

Liberals in opposition are encouraged to reexamine the facts and look at Wisconsin’s success story as proof that voter ID in Missouri will be a success as well.

I am privileged to lead the charge in promoting common sense policies, including voter ID and I encourage us all, as Missourians, to support voter ID to eliminate voter fraud and protect our votes once and for all.