Missouri Legislators Discuss Fingerprint, Retinal Scans for ID'ing Voters


"Think about the future?" says senator Tim Green. "Photo ID -- five years down the road -- may be a thing of the past."
  • "Think about the future?" says senator Tim Green. "Photo ID -- five years down the road -- may be a thing of the past."
Republican lawmakers in Jefferson City are once again attempting to change Missouri law by requiring that voters present photo IDs at the poll.

The G.O.P. legislators argue that photo identification would safeguard elections from voter fraud. Democrats, meanwhile, contend that photo IDs would disenfranchise the poor and elderly who may not have a current driver's license or are unable to afford one.

In 2006 the General Assembly passed a similar law that was struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court, which found it be an undue burden. Undeterred, state senator Bill Stouffer (R -
Napton) is pushing forward a constitutional amendment (SJR 2) calling for a statewide vote to require voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls.

But could it be that photo IDs are antiquated technology?

That's what Tim Green (D - Spanish Lake) asked during a floor debate yesterday to consider Stouffer's resolution.

Green said he attends a gym that scans his fingerprints for entry and proposed an amendment to the resolution calling for similar fingerprint scans of voters.

But then perhaps fingerprint scans are also an anachronism these days? Green's suggestion prompted Stouffer to wonder if his resolution should also include the use of retinal scans.

"I know they do these things where they check the iris of the eye," said Stouffer, who then got in a curious back-and-forth with Green on the marvels of modern-day technology. (Listen to it here).
"People say this may be ludicrous," said Green of his proposal. "But you know, my son goes to school in Mobile, Alabama and we do this thing called Skype. It's like something out of Star Trek!"

Stouffer and Green are now working on ways to amend the constitutional amendment to include the use of other types of technology to ID voters.

Psst. Keep up on all the latest "news" by following Daily RFT on Facebook or Twitter @chadgarrison.


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