A Columbia lawmaker who serves on the Missouri House Elections and Elected Officials Committee opposes voter ID legislation approved in Jefferson City.
State Rep. David Tyson Smith (D-Columbia) says any provision you put between someone and the ballot box will slow down voting.
“It’s not just photo ID. Someone might say what’s wrong with photo ID. It’s a state-sanctioned photo ID with an expiration date. So what that means if you’re an elderly person and say you longer drive, well your driver’s license might be expired by a year,” Smith says.
Voter ID has been a top priority for the GOP-controlled Legislature and for Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R), who say it will ensure election integrity and will prevent voter fraud. Ashcroft has said that his office helps Missourians obtain a free voter ID.
The bill from State Rep. John Simmons (R-Washington) is on the governor’s desk. It would require Missourians to show a photo ID when they vote.
“Photo ID has been struck down (previously) by the courts. And that’s really the talk, kind of the buzz in the (Missouri Capitol) building, is that the courts are going to strike it down. Of course I want him (Governor Parson) to veto it. Will he? I doubt it, but I’m optimistic that the courts are going to look at this and do the right thing,” says Smith.
Secretary Ashcroft is confident the bill is constitutional.
During a recent Statehouse interview with 939 the Eagle, Representative Smith also says he’s been working with several GOP freshmen to bring both sides of the aisle together to eat meals. He notes that didn’t happen when he was first elected in 2021.
“On a few times we had meals together, Republicans ate on one side, Democrats on another. And me and some Republicans got together and there was this idea of what if we had breakfast for everybody. So it was a bipartisan breakfast where we provided food for both sides to come together,” Smith says.
Smith, a Hickman and Mizzou graduate, is unopposed this fall for a second House term.