Letter to the Editor

Amendment 6 and voter obstacles

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The League of Women Voters has devoted almost 100 years to protecting the integrity of free and fair elections. We oppose Constitutional Amendment 6 on the Nov. 8 ballot because it would put unnecessary obstacles in many voters' way to the polls. If passed, it would:

* Force citizens to present only certain types of federal or state-issued IDs to vote. In order to obtain one of these, the voter would have to present a birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, etc., which would not only be difficult and costly but, in some cases, downright impossible (think of the destruction of such records in a county office due to natural disasters).

* Create barriers for over 220,000 Missouri voters, particularly seniors, people with disabilities, the working poor, minority groups and women.

* Discourage voters from going to the polls because of the confusion surrounding which IDs are necessary in order to vote.

* Eliminate some Missouri college students from the polls because their current student IDs will no longer be valid.

* Cost Missourians over $16 million and require additional bureaucracy.

Amendment 6 will remove the present Missouri Constitution's protection of the right to vote when no problem of voter impersonation has ever been demonstrated in Missouri.

Let's protect the right for all to have equal access to free and fair elections. Our right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy.

Elaine Blodgett, St. Louis,

President of the Missouri League of Women Voters