October 17, 2002

Voters Now Required To Bring ID To Polls

You have to show your ID to cash a check, verify your age, and to buy certain products. Now you can add voting to the list.

Beginning with the November 5th General Election all voters in the state of Missouri will be required to present personal identification to prove he/she is a qualified voter.

The change is the result of legislation passed earlier this year. Senate Bill 675 was created following issues during the General Election of 2000 regarding voter fraud.

"Fair and accurate elections are the foundation of our democratic form of government," said Secretary of State Matt Blunt. "As American citizens, each of us is entitled to a voting system that meets the highest standards of integrity. In November 2000, the nation witnessed one of the closest elections in history. The aftermath of the presidential election is still being felt here and throughout our nation. In Missouri, controversy surrounding the vote in St. Louis thrust our state into the national spotlight, undermined public trust throughout the state, and presented troubling questions about the soundness of Missouri's voting system."

Senate Bill 675 has local county clerks busy training election workers that will be manning the polls to have all voters present a valid form of identification.

The preferred form of identification is the billfold-sized voter registration card issued by the county clerk's office following registration. A driver's license, college ID or other photo ID approved by the Secretary of State is also acceptable.

"If a person does not have a suitable ID with them, but they are listed in the voter registration precinct register at the polling place, they still may be able to vote," said County Clerk Betty Lodewegen. "The law provides that a voter without ID may still be allowed if at least two supervising election judges, one from each major political party, identify the individual following the completion of an affidavit form at the polling station."

Lodewegen added that obviously it will be quicker and more convenient for voters if they simply remember to bring a voter ID card or driver's license. She also noted that anyone who has lost their registration card may receive a replacement at the county clerk's office.

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