Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Thursday, June 1
More on Missouri's Voter ID Bill
Following up on Tuesday's post, there's more news on Missouri's soon-to-be-law requiring photo ID to vote. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has asked Governor Matt Blunt to call a special legislative session so that the legislature can fund the bill. Those costs include providing ID to the roughly 170,000 voters who don't have it. Governor Blunt has refused. The St. Louis Post Dispatch has this report, and Carnahan's letter to Blunt may be found here.

Carnhan's letter states that: "Failure to [provide adequate funding], or making only a halfhearted effort, not only jeopardizes the integrity of our elections, but also puts the constitutional voting rights of up to 170,000 legitimate Missouri voters -- primarily seniors, disabled and poor -- at risk. Secretary Carnhan's letter estimates the funding needed to provide ID to voters at $2 million, which sounds very conservative to me. This is in addition to other costs associated with the bill.

Governor Blunt's refusal to call a special legislative session to provide funding shouldn't come as a great surprise. It confirms that the portions of the bill calling for free ID to those who lack it are window dressing for what is, in purpose and effect, a disenfranchisement bill.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University