If someone is ineligible to vote, but does so in a manner opposite your vote, you have been, in essence, disenfranchised.
That illegal vote canceled your perfectly legal vote. Your rights have been violated. Unfortunately, voter fraud has a long history in Missouri, and this week the Missouri House voted to make certain that your vote will count.
The passage of HJRs 5 and 12, and HBs 48 and 216 help to ensure that only legitimate voters can vote in Missouri. Such measures have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is really a matter of insurance; insurance that those who have the right to vote will make decisions about our government.
To secure rights for legitimate voters, several safeguards are included within the rules. The elderly will be exempt from the photo ID requirement. If someone does not drive, Missouri photos IDs are available. Finally, if someone cannot afford a photo ID, public assistance is available.
Some opponents of these measures argue there has been no voter fraud in Missouri. The fact is attempted voter fraud occurs all the time. There have been convictions of such activity as recently as the 2008 general election. These prosecutions occurred in Kansas City and St. Louis. Members of both major parties have recognized the threats. Matt Blunt, as Secretary of State, and Claire McCaskill, as Auditor, cited numerous opportunities for fraud in the 2000 general election. The list is much longer than these few examples: voter fraud is a factual threat to our system.
In my many years of conducting political science courses, I constantly touch upon the legitimacy of a particular government. Legitimacy brings acceptance and stability. It is very important in our representative system that we have confidence our votes count. If we cast our votes and lose, well, that is the will of the people. If we cast our votes and lose to stuffed ballot boxes, we will feel animosity toward the cheaters and the government will suffer a loss of legitimacy. I would like for our government to retain its legitimacy because legitimacy has allowed our Constitution to endure for over 200 years.
In today's world, photo ID is required for nearly every transaction and form of access. We need photo IDs for taking a new job, opening a bank account, boarding a plane, etc. Why is voting an exception?
Unfortunately, some would like to keep open this door of opportunity for fraudulent activity. Such activity only undermines citizen participation and government that is responsive to the people. I believe that participation and responsiveness are worthy goals to preserve.
Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians.
My telephone number is 576-751-2204 or you may contact me be email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live and work.