Wednesday will mark the final showdown between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and Republican legislators, as lawmakers return to the Missouri Capitol to consider overriding the governor’s vetoes.
The marquee fight will come on a bill, SB 656, eliminating training and permit requirements to carry a concealed gun in public and another that mandates that voters show a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot.
Nixon, entering his final three months as governor, faces long odds trying to sway GOP legislators who control two-thirds of the seats in the House and Senate, a veto-proof majority.
Backers of SB 656 say they are confident they’ll be able to override Nixon’s veto of the measure, noting Missouri’s “stand your ground” law, which gives people the legal right to defend themselves if they feel threatened.
Nixon, a Democrat, said last week that “ultimately, the state would be less safe” if his veto of the measure was overridden.
Another measure, HB 1631, would require voters to produce photo identification at the polls is also on tap for what could be a lengthy discussion.
Republicans argue the change is needed to protect the voting process from fraud. Under Missouri’s current system, voters can vote by providing a utility bill or bank statement to prove their identity.
Democrats counter that there has never been an instance in Missouri of the type of fraud voter ID would prevent; instead, they say, the bill is designed to make it harder for traditionally Democratic voters to cast a ballot.