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Assuring every vote counts

Elections are the foundation of our democracy, and every Missourian should have the assurance that their vote counts. This fundamental principle of our representative democracy is a value we share with you and a value we will defend here in the Missouri House.

In a ruling released last week, the Cole County Circuit Court rendered its decision striking down the Voter Id amendment set for November’s ballot. The court struck down the proposed amendment for two reasons, the summary language was “insufficient and unfair,” and the amendment would restrict early voting.

The court’s decision was very disappointing to me. It is unfortunate that the Democrats and an activist judge have been able to derail this commonsense proposal, again.

In response to the ruling, the Missouri House has sprung into action to ensure this makes the ballot this year. To rectify the situation, Rep. Shane Schoeller, R-Willard has introduced two separate pieces of legislation, HCR 53 and HJR 89.

HCR 53 is a resolution revising the summary statement of the proposed amendment. The judge struck down the original summary language because it included the phrase the “Voter Protection Act” which doesn’t appear in the language of the amendment. HCR 53 brings the summary language into compliance with the ruling.

Next, HJR 89 totally rewrites the constitutional amendment. We will need this option if rewriting the summary language runs into difficulty because the early voting language remains in the amendment.

HJR 89 removes all of the early voting language from the original amendment, leaving only the photo identification language. If passed the new amendment would replace the language struck down by the court on November’s ballot.

Here in the Missouri House, we are working hard to protect the integrity of our elections. And although we were dealt a blow with the court ruling striking down the proposed Voter ID amendment, we remain committed to getting this important constitutional amendment on the ballot this November.

This report is filed at the end of each week during the legislative session. This report was filed at the close of business last week.

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