Controversy Over Requiring Photo IDs To Vote

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MIDTOWN (KTVI)-- The controversy over requiring photo identification for people to vote took center stage Friday at Harris-Stowe State University in Midtown.

'We`ve got to turn this around and start targeting in Missouri those legislators that want to roll back our right to vote,' said Reverend Al Sharpton who was the keynote speaker at the event.

Sharpton and others say that many states including Missouri are taking actions that could jeopardize a fundamental right;the right to vote.

'Just like there was those engaged in struggle to get us the right to vote you and I must be engaged in struggle to maintain the right to vote,' said Sharpton.

Congressman William Lacy Clay organized the forum that included panel discussions.

Clay told the crowd that voting rights in America are under attack and several groups including minorities could suffer because of it.

Clay says 38 states have already passed or are considering passing measures that would make it harder for citizens to vote.

And he says a measure on the Missouri ballot this November is a major concern.
The measure would require a photo id to vote.

Clay says some 350,000 Missouri voters could be disenfranchised if the measure passes.

He argues some 5,000,000 voters could be in jeopardy nationwide.

'The right to vote is under coordinated assault by means of discriminatory photo id laws,' said Clay.

"Why now is the id we've been having no good when all of a sudden barrack Obama is running for re-election,' added Sharpton.

64 year old Francine Roden from the Central West End was among those who came out.

She vows to work against the Missouri measure.

'African Americans have discrimination and I think this is another way that they`re doing it and we have to inform other people so we have a stronger group to have a better outcome in November,' said Francine.

The measure on the Missouri ballot would amend the Missouri Constitution.

The legislature passed a bill requiring photo ids to vote a few years ago.

But the measure was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court after a lawsuit was filed.