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Editorial: Photo ID for voting makes good sense

Sunday, November 4, 2001

With memories of the election-day outrages of last November fresh in the minds of Missourians, proposed election reforms are much in the news.

Special committees of the Missouri House and Senate are holding hearings to look into needed reforms, and Secretary of State Matt Blunt is joined by U.S. Sen. Kit Bond in highlighting the issue.

Against this backdrop, federal authorities are taking the matter of attempted and actual vote fraud with sufficient seriousness to launch a criminal inquiry that began with an FBI investigation and proceeded to a criminal investigation.

Coming out of recent testimony before the both legislative committees was the idea of presenting photo identification as a requirement for voting. Currently, election judges can ask for identification but aren't required to do so.

Bond backed the photo-ID idea in testimony before the Senate committee. With Blunt away on active duty in the Navy, an aide appeared before the House committee to endorse the proposal. "We think it's one of the best steps toward preventing fraud," said Chuck Pryor, Blunt's legislative director.

We agree.

State Rep. James Siegfried, D-Marshall, who chairs the House panel, said that the elderly will resist this reform. Well, yes. Some folks will resist any change. Fully informed, however, we believe the great majority of Missourians would embrace this commonsense reform to ensure that we have honest elections.

We hope our lawmakers will follow through and put this on the governor's desk.


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