FROM FRIEDA’S DESK….
We all have heard about the need for Voter ID at the polling places. I have worked elections since 2010 and I appreciate the benefit of having proper government issued picture identification at the polling place. I will communicate more information about this topic in the coming weeks/months.
In the meantime, I am writing to let you know of an important opportunity to help protect our elections from voter fraud and to ask for your help. As many of you are aware, Missouri does not currently require a photo ID for voters on election day. In 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court declared Missouri’s voter ID law unconstitutional and our state legislature has failed to amend the Missouri Constitution for the last nine years.
This lack of proper identification of voters puts the integrity of our elections at risk. Examples of voter impersonation abound. Consider the case of Sharee Sizemore. In 2012, when she went to vote in Jackson County, she found that someone had already voted her ballot, most likely by using a discarded piece of mail. While Ms. Sizemore was able to cast a provisional ballot, it is unclear whether that ballot counted. A photo voter ID requirement would make it more difficult to perpetuate this type of fraud and would give authorities a photo of the impersonator.
In our society, there is little that does not require photo identification – from opening a bank account to entering a federal building. As such, it is understandable that the vast majority of voters support such a common sense approach to securing our elections. This editorial contains interesting statistics on voter ID. Click here.
In response to this need, Jay Ashcroft recently filed an initiative petition to amend the Missouri Constitution to allow for a photo voter ID requirement in Missouri. The goal is to collect enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot in the 2016 election.
Please visit the website http://www.ProtectTheVoteMO.com to read the proposed ballot language and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the petition.
A successful initiative petition requires a minimum number of signatures be gathered in six of Missouri’s eight Congressional districts. The signature requirements have been broken down by county to determine how many are needed from each county. In most counties, if we can get 20-30 people to collect signatures from their friends, family and neighbors, the goal will be met.
In the coming days, Jay Ashcroft or someone from the “Protect the Vote” committee will be contacting you to ask for your help collecting signatures in your county or even serving as a county chairperson.
Allow me to encourage you to help with this worthwhile project and get photo voter ID on the ballot in 2016.
Thank you, in advance, for your help. Working together, we can make sure Missouri remains a great place to live!
Missouri Precinct Project