Among the many issues that will be decided upon this election, is the enforcement of voter ID laws. For Missouri this is especially crucial, as ballots this November include a vote on an amendment to the state constitution, that would require the state to begin regulation of voting, using mandatory identification. The possibility of this measure also adds higher stakes to Missouri’s Secretary of State race as the winning candidate is required to enforce the voter ID law if it passes. This situation causes friction among parties, as it is a real possibility that Missouri could have new voter ID laws, and a Secretary of State who does not support them.
Missouri’s particular situation may seem unique, but disputes over voter ID laws are a national issue as well. Liberal politicians and voters argue that the requirement of identification to vote would be an obstruction of democracy. This is because those who are likely to encounter issues with acquiring an ID are minorities and voters who are economically disadvantaged.
In contrast, conservatives argue that the requirement of identification for voting would help to prevent voter fraud, and in this way contribute to the success of democracy. Both sides feel strongly about the issue, making it divisive across party lines. Nationally this creates debate and argument, while in Missouri it will likely result in a unique situation for Missouri’s new Secretary of State in 2016.