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Hey, if it happened in Indiana it could happen here in Missouri.

Missouri Constitution

Article VIII

SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS

Section 2

Qualifications of voters–disqualifications.

Section 2. All citizens of the United States, including occupants of soldiers’ and sailors’ homes, over the age of eighteen who are residents of this state and of the political subdivision in which they offer to vote are entitled to vote at all elections by the people

[emphasis added]

That’s a pretty strong endorsement of the right to vote. Too bad they don’t have that “problem” in Indiana.

About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn’t have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary’s Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn’t get one but came to the precinct anyway.

“One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, ‘I don’t want to go do that,'” Sister McGuire said. Some showed up with outdated passports. None of them drives.

They weren’t given provisional ballots because it would be impossible to get them to a motor vehicle branch and back in the 10-day time frame allotted by the law, Sister McGuire said. “You have to remember that some of these ladies don’t walk well. They’re in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts…”

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan issued a press release today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Contact: Ryan Hobart

Secretary Carnahan and Missouri Voters Discuss Costly Effects of Possible Voter Photo ID Law

St. Louis, Mo. – Secretary of State Robin Carnahan joined a group of Missouri voters today at the League of Women Voters office in St. Louis, Mo., to discuss the possible disenfranchisement of up to 240,000 Missourians if a proposed government Photo ID requirement for voting is pushed through the Missouri legislature. Many of those voters present lacked the necessary government issued Photo ID that would be required to vote

“As Missouri’s chief elections official, it’s my job to ensure fair elections, and elections cannot be fair if eligible voters are not allowed to vote,” said Carnahan. “Many of the registered voters who do not have the type of government ID required also do not have copies of the documents needed to obtain a government ID in the first place – like a birth certificate. What we heard today is that getting copies of these can be costly, time consuming and sometimes impossible.”

Secretary Carnahan was joined by voters like Lillie Lewis who has spent months trying to get a copy of her birth certificate so that she can get a government ID in Missouri. Mrs. Lewis was born in Mississippi in the mid-1930s and has been told by that state that they have no record of her birth. Without that birth certificate, Mrs. Lewis can not get a government issued Photo ID and therefore would not be allowed to vote if this proposal becomes law.

“It would be unacceptable for a voter to be denied the right to vote in America merely because an inefficient government bureaucracy can not provide a copy of a birth certificate to one of its citizens,” added Carnahan. “I urge the legislature to reject any proposal that could put the voting rights of up to 240,000 Missourians at risk.”

Also joining Secretary Carnahan was Richard von Glahn a 27-year-old, Ohio born Missouri voter who would be forced to wait several months and pay as much as $20 for a copy of his birth certificate in order to obtain the required government ID.

In addition, Sister Diana Oleskevich, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province and Sister Connie Probst of the Franciscan Sisters of our Lady of Perpetual Help were also there to express concerns because some of the nuns in their convents lack government issued Photo IDs. Other sisters spoke out about the impact this measure could have on nuns in their order. Sister Sandy Schwartz of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Mary the Angel said that an informal survey indicated that 15 of the 35 voters in her convent did not have a valid government ID of the type required by this proposal. “This may sound like a good idea at first, but once you stop to think about who would really be affected, this is going to keep a lot of our loved ones from being able to vote,” she said.

This week it was reported that 12 nuns were turned away from the polls in Indiana because they lacked government Photo IDs.

The Missouri Supreme Court stuck down a 2006 Voter Photo ID law in October of that year, citing that it placed too much of a burden on eligible Missourian’s constitutional right to vote.

###

[emphasis added]

More on those Indiana nuns:

“…Here’s the supreme irony,” Borkowski said. “This law was passed supposedly to prevent and deter voter fraud, even though there was no real record of serious voter fraud in Indiana. Here you have a bunch of nuns whose votes can’t be accepted by a bunch of nuns … who live with them in the polling place in their convent because they don’t have an ID…”

“…The nuns and this young woman are the face of the supreme court case,” said Jonah Goldman, who directs the Lawyers Committee’s Campaign for Fair Elections. He said his group, which has bird-dogged polling places in primaries across the country over the past three months, also has found widespread confusion in other states over voter identification requirements…

Yep, it could happen in Missouri. Why? Because the republicans in the General Assembly want to suppress some votes:

SECOND REGULAR SESSION

[PERFECTED]

HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 48

94TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Reported from the Special Committee on Immigration May 2, 2008 with recommendation that House Committee Substitute for House Joint Resolution No. 48 Do Pass. Referred to the Committee on Rules pursuant to Rule 25(21)(f).

Reported from the Committee on Rules May 5, 2008 with recommendation that House Committee Substitute for House Joint Resolution No. 48 Do Pass, with a 150 minute time limit for debate on Perfection.

Taken up for Perfection May 7, 2008. House Committee Substitute for House Joint Resolution No. 48 ordered Perfected and printed.

D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk

3572L.02P

JOINT RESOLUTION

Submitting to the qualified voters of Missouri, an amendment to article VIII of the Constitution of Missouri, and adopting one new section relating to voter identification.

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:

That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2008, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article VIII of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:

Section A. Article VIII, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding one new section, to be known as section 8, to read as follows:

Section 8. Any person who seeks to vote in a public election may be required by law to establish his or her qualifications as a United States citizen lawfully residing in this state by providing a form of identification to election officials. The fo
rm of identification required to vote may be prescribed by law, and persons may be required by law to provide a valid government-issued photo identification to vote. The state shall provide at least one form of the identification required to vote at no cost to any otherwise qualified citizen who does not already possess such identification and who desires the identification in order to vote.

And look, the republicans all voted to suppress ID elderly voters:

JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE (pdf)

Second Regular Session, 94th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SIXTY-SEVENTH DAY, WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 2008

…PERFECTION OF HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION

HCS HJR 48, relating to voter identification, was taken up by Representative Cox.

Representative Low (39) offered House Amendment No. 1.

Representative Brown (30) raised points of order that House Amendment No. 1 is dilatory and goes beyond the scope of the resolution.

The Chair ruled the second point of order well taken.

Representative Walsh offered House Amendment No. 2.

Representative Jones (89) raised a point of order that House Amendment No. 2 goes beyond the scope of the resolution.

The Chair ruled the point of order well taken.

Representative Zimmerman offered House Amendment No. 3.

Representative Jones (89) raised a point of order that House Amendment No. 3 goes beyond the scope of the resolution.

The Chair ruled the point of order well taken.

Representative Bringer offered House Amendment No. 4.

Representative Jones (89) raised a point of order that House Amendment No. 4 goes beyond the scope of the resolution.

The Chair ruled the point of order well taken.

1378 Journal of the House

Representative Skaggs offered House Amendment No. 5.

House Amendment No. 5

AMEND House Committee Substitute for House Joint Resolution No. 48, Section 8, Page 1, Line 1, by inserting “Beginning January 1, 2009” before “Any”; and Further amend said bill by amending the title, enacting clause, and intersectional references accordingly.

Representative Skaggs moved that House Amendment No. 5 be adopted.

Which motion was defeated by the following vote:

AYES: 069

Aull Baker 25 Bland Bringer Brown 50

Burnett Casey Chappelle-Nadal Cunningham 86 Curls

Darrough Daus Donnelly Dougherty El-Amin

Fallert Frame George Grill Harris 23

Harris 110 Haywood Hodges Holsman Hoskins

Hubbard Hughes Johnson Komo Kratky

Kuessner Lampe LeVota Liese Low 39

Lowe 44 McClanahan Meiners Nasheed Norr

Oxford Page Quinn 9 Roorda Rucker

Salva Schieffer Schoemehl Shively Silvey

Skaggs Stevenson St. Onge Storch Swinger

Talboy Todd Villa Vogt Walsh

Walton Whorton Wildberger Witte Wright-Jones

Yaeger Young Zimmerman Zweifel

NOES: 084

Avery Baker 123 Bivins Brandom Brown 30

Bruns Cooper 155 Cox Cunningham 145 Davis

Day Deeken Denison Dethrow Dixon

Dusenberg Emery Ervin Faith Fares

Fisher Flook Franz Funderburk Grisamore

Guest Hobbs Hunter Icet Jones 89

Jones 117 Kasten Kelly Kingery Kraus

Lembke Lipke Loehner Marsh May

McGhee Moore Munzlinger Muschany Nance

Nieves Nolte Onder Parkinson Parson

Pearce Pollock Pratt Quinn 7 Richard

Robb Ruestman Sander Sater Schaaf

Schad Scharnhorst Schlottach Schneider Schoeller

Self Smith 14 Smith 150 Stream Sutherland

Thomson Threlkeld Tilley Viebrock Wallace

Wasson Wells Weter Wilson 119 Wilson 130

Wood Wright 159 Yates Mr Speaker

PRESENT: 000

Sixty-seventh Day-Wednesday, May 7, 2008 1379

ABSENT WITH LEAVE: 008

Cooper 120 Corcoran Meadows Portwood Robinson

Ruzicka Scavuzzo Spreng

VACANCIES: 002

Representative Wildberger offered House Amendment No. 6.

Representative Jones (89) raised a point of order that House Amendment No. 6 goes beyond the scope of the resolution.

The Chair ruled the point of order well taken.

Representative Lampe offered House Amendment No. 7.

Representative Jones (89) raised a point of order that House Amendment No. 7 goes beyond the scope of the resolution.

The Chair ruled the point of order well taken.

Representative LeVota offered House Amendment No. 8.

Representative Jones (89) raised a point of order that House Amendment No. 8 goes beyond

the scope of the resolution.

The Chair ruled the point of order well taken.

Representative Wilson (130) assumed the Chair.

Speaker Pro Tem Pratt resumed the Chair.

On motion of Representative Cox, HCS HJR 48 was adopted.

On motion of Representative Cox, HCS HJR 48 was ordered perfected and printed by the following vote:

AYES: 089

Avery Baker 123 Bivins Brandom Brown 30

Bruns Cooper 120 Cooper 155 Cox Cunningham 145

Cunningham 86 Davis Day Deeken Denison

Dethrow Dixon Dusenberg Emery Ervin

Faith Fares Fisher Flook Franz

Funderburk Grisamore Guest Hobbs Hunter

Icet Jones 89 Jones 117 Kasten Kingery

Kraus Lembke Lipke Loehner Marsh

May McGhee Moore Munzlinger Muschany

Nance Nieves Nolte Onder Parkinson

Parson Pearce Pollock Portwood Pratt

Quinn 7 Richard Robb Ruestman Sander

1380 Journal of the House

Sater Schaaf Schad Scharnhorst Schlottach

Schneider Schoeller Self Silvey Smith 14

Smith 150 Stevenson St. Onge Stream Sutherland

Thomson Threlkeld Tilley Viebrock Wallace

Wasson Wells Weter Wilson 119 Wilson 130

Wood Wright 159 Yates Mr Speaker

NOES: 067

Aull Baker 25 Bland Bringer Brown 50

Burnett Casey Chappelle-Nadal Corcoran Curls

Darrough Daus Donnelly Dougherty El-Amin

Fallert Frame George Grill Harris 23

Harris 110 Haywood Hodges Holsman Hoskins

Hubbard Hughes Johnson Komo Kratky

Kuessner Lampe LeVota Liese Low 39

Lowe 44 McClanahan Meiners Nasheed Norr

Oxford Page Quinn 9 Robinson Roorda

Rucker Salva Schieffer Schoemehl Shively

Skaggs Storch Swinger Talboy Todd

Villa Vogt Walsh Walton Whorton

Wildberger Witte Wright-Jones Yaeger Young

Zimmerman Zweifel

PRESENT: 000

ABSENT WITH LEAVE: 005

Kelly Meadows Ruzicka Scavuzzo Spreng

VACANCIES: 002

[emphasis added]

It might be fun to ask the advocate of automotive deer hunting why he doesn’t want elderly nuns to vote.

And why are they trying to amend the Missouri Constitution? Because the Missouri Supreme Court said the republicans’ previous attempt at voter suppression a voter ID law was unconstitutional:

Kathleen Weinschenk, et al., Respondents, v. State of Missouri, Appellant, Robin Carnahan, Secretary of State, Respondent, Dale Morris and Senator Delbert Scott, Intervenors-Appellants.

Case Number: SC88039

Handdown Date: 10/16/2006

…The Missouri Constitution expressly guarantees that “all elections shall be free and open; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.” Mo. Const. art. I, sec. 25. Additionally, rather than leaving the issue of voter qualification to the legislature, the Missouri Constitution has established an exclusive list of qualifications necessary to vote in Missouri. Mo. Const. art. VIII, sec. 2 (“All citizens of the United States . . . over the age of eighteen who are residents of this state and of the political subdivision in which they offer to vote are entitled to vote at all elections by the people, if . . . they are registered within the time prescribed by law”). These constitutional provisions establish with unmistakable clarity that the right to vote is fundamental to Missouri citizens.(FN15)

The express constitutional protection of the right to vote differentiates the Missouri
constitution from its federal counterpart.
Federal courts also have consistently held that the right to vote is equally fundamental under the United States Constitution. See, e.g., Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 555 (1964) (“The right to vote freely for the candidate of one’s choice is of the essence of a democratic society”); Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 17-18 (1964) (“No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live”). But, the right to vote in state elections is conferred under federal law only by implication, not by express guarantee. See Harper v. Virginia State Bd. Elections, 383 U.S. 663, 665 (1966) (“the right to vote in state elections is nowhere expressly mentioned” in the United States Constitution).

Moreover, the qualifications for voting under the federal system are left to legislative determination, not constitutionally enshrined, as they are in Missouri. Compare U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 2 (providing that “Electors” shall be equivalent to those for state positions) with Mo. Const. art. VIII, sec. 2 (establishing exclusive qualifications for voting in Missouri).(FN16) Compare also U.S. Const. amend. XV (protecting right to vote from abridgment “on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude”) with Mo. Const. art. I, sec. 25 (protecting right to vote from all “power, civil or military” that “interferes to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage”).

Due to the more expansive and concrete protections of the right to vote under the Missouri Constitution, voting rights are an area where our state constitution provides greater protection than its federal counterpart. See California v. Ramos, 463 U.S. 992, 1013-14 (“It is elementary that States are free to provide greater protections . . . than the [f]ederal Constitution requires.”); State v. Rushing, 935 S.W.2d 30, 34 (Mo. banc 1996) (“Provisions of our state constitution may be construed to provide more expansive protections than comparable federal constitutional provisions.”); State ex rel. J.D.S. v. Edwards, 574 S.W.2d 405, 409 (Mo. banc 1978) (holding that Missouri Constitution due process and equal protection clauses provide more protection than United States Constitution where United States Supreme Court precedent “dilute[s] these important rights”).(FN17)

Of course, some regulation of the voting process is necessary to protect the right to vote itself. Such regulations are in place in all state and federal elections, and the Missouri Constitution further specifically delegates to the legislature the right to regulate registration. Mo. Const. art. VIII, sec. 5. In addition, many matters may tangentially affect voting, such as rules regarding who may run for office and how candidates are listed on ballots. For this reason, the extent of the burden this statute imposes on the right to vote must be evaluated before determining the level of scrutiny it will receive…

[emphasis added]

Can’t have those elderly voters expressing their disdain for the republican agenda, can we?