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Senate Republicans and Democrats clash over requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls. Republicans say they'll force a vote on the issue today. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports from Jefferson City.
When the bill came before the senate Tuesday, Democrats still had a lot of questions about the possible implications of the bill...whether or not it would allow the courts to keep polls open under extraordinary circumstances and whether or not the photo identification requirement would disenfranchise some voters.
As the debate rolled on, Republicans say it became apparent that Democrats wanted to block the bill from coming to a vote.
That's why the bill sponsor, Republican Senator Delbert Scott of Eastern Missouri says he will use a rare procedural maneuver to shut off debate and force a vote.
Lawmakers are operating under deadline pressure...The regular session ends at 6 o'clock Friday.
Democrats say the final version of the bill is a far cry from the compromise that they allowed to come to a vote earlier in the session.
Democratic Floor Leader Maida Coleman says if Republicans feel so strongly about the bill, then they have the ability to force the issue.
The version of the voting bill that Republicans say they'll bring to a vote today would do away with straight-ticket voting.
Democratic Senator Maida Coleman says preventing voters from casting ballots for candidates of a single party will hurt both Republicans and Democrats.
Bill supporters in the senate say it's lawmakers in the House who are pushing for the elimination of straight-ticket voting.
Bill sponsor Delbert Scott says he also believes doing away with the ability to vote entirely one party's candidates will impact both Republicans and Democrats.
If Republicans employ parliamentary procedures to shut off debate, it would mark only a handful of times that has happened in the last decade.
The bill sponsor, Delbert Scott says he has no choice.
Meanwhile, Democrats say if Republicans force a vote on the issue by moving the previous question or PQ, it will be out of desperation.
Maida Coleman is the Senate Democratic Floor Leader.
Lawmakers have until 6 o'clock Friday to finish their work on legislation.