To the editor:
On Feb. 14, the Missouri House of Representatives passed the photo voter ID bill, 103-48 margin. The Missouri House is super-controlled by the Republican Party, with a 109-52 margin, so the outcome was of little surprise. What is so outrageous is that this isn’t needed and thus is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Republicans contend, wrongly, that photo voter ID is needed to protect against voter fraud. The facts speak differently. The Brennan Center for Justice has done multiple studies in every state and has concluded that voter fraud is less than three thousandths of one percent. In addition, a national study conducted just last year found only 10 alleged cases of in-person voter impersonation in any U.S. election since 2000. The law, if passed by voters in 2014, would disenfranchise more than 230,000 Missouri voters. And yes, voting is a constitutional right – not a privilege.
Noel Torpey, a Republican who represents the 29th District, but not its residents, voted in favor of the issue. This past year he campaigned for re-election and handed out or mailed out a number of campaign materials. Missing in those materials was his stance on photo voter ID. I received a number of those items in the mail, and not one them suggested what his views on this issue were. When he took office, he raised his right hand and swore to uphold the Constitution. His vote on this issue strongly suggests otherwise. In other words, he broke that allegiance.
Missouri has some of the strongest voter protection laws in the nation, and the sanctity of the vote is strongly protected by those laws by our state and national constitutions. I have served as an election judge and a supervisory election judge for more than 10 years and can attest that our election laws are just and adequate and serve and protect our election process.
Mr. Torpey and his House colleagues have done Missouri residents a real harm.