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A Missouri House committee approved measures yesterday to create one of the strictest voter photo identification requirements in the country.
The change would require unexpired Missouri-issued or federal photographic identification.
According to the Post Dispatch, bill sponsor Rep. Tony Dugger says the opportunity for voter fraud needed to be stopped to maintain the integrity of elections in the state.
There are only nine states that require photo identification to vote.
The limited number of documents accepted under the Missouri proposal would make it stricter than all but two states, Indiana and Texas. Expired drivers licenses and school-issued photo IDs would not be accepted.
Only nonexpired Missouri or federal photo ID would be accepted under the proposal. Secretary of State Jason Kander opposes the measure. Currently, about 220,000 registered voters would not have the required ID cards.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is preparing to announce what he calls a "major securities action" that involves millions of dollars.
Kander scheduled a news conference Thursday at the Old Post Office in St. Louis. His office says Kander will seek restitution, civil penalties and fees and costs, but no other details have been released.
The secretary of state's office is Missouri's chief overseer and enforcer of securities laws intended to protect investors from unfair practices and fraudulent schemes.
The bipartisan commission released its recommendations Thursday for overhauling Missouri's voting laws.
Missouri now allows people to vote by mail only if they meet certain conditions, such as a disability or absence from their district on election day. The commission says voters should be allowed to mail their ballots without such restrictions.
It also recommends requiring all local election authorities to establish one location where voters can cast ballots in-person beginning six weeks before election day. For presidential elections, highly-populated areas would be required to establish an additional polling place for early voting.
The 11-member commission is made up of local election authorities, attorneys and former lawmakers.
Missouri now lets voters cast absentee ballots only if they swear they cannot go to the polls on Election Day or meet other, limited criteria. But the state has no general provision for early voting, which Kander says could help ease long lines at the polls.
Kander's appointed commission will meet throughout February to study the merits of early voting and evaluate what he says would be the efficient, fair and secure way to allow the practice.
Besides county clerks, the panel also includes former state lawmakers, the mayor of Joplin, a county elections director and private citizens.