Election News You May Have Missed, Part 1

In all the news from the election last week, you may have missed two important changes passed by referendum in Missouri and Alaska.

In Missouri, voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to Missouri's constitution to allow a photo ID to be required to vote:

With 63% voting in favor, voters in Missouri passed a constitutional amendment that will allow the state to enact a law requiring photo ID to vote.  The amendment gives state constitutional approval to a bill passed earlier this year to require a photo ID.  With the passage of the constitutional amendment, photo ID is now required in Missouri.

In Alaska, voters approved a unique form of mandatory voter registration, tying voter registration to applications for the state's Permanent Fund distributions:

Yesterday, voters in Alaska approved a ballot measure 65% to 35% that will automatically register Alaskans to vote when they apply for Alaska Permanent Fund distributions:

Ballot measure 1 would increase the number of registered voters in the state by automatically registering Alaskans when they apply for their PFDs. . . . Supporters say it’s a way to increase participation in elections, save time, and modernize state government. 

But the proposal has faced opposition from many Alaskans since its inception. Critics say the program’s $942,885 price tag would be a waste of money at a time when the state is grappling with a multi-billion dollar budget deficit. 

The Alaska Permanent Fund is an “annual dividend that is paid to Alaska residents from investment earnings of mineral royalties.”

The change in Missouri will help protect the integrity of its elections.  In addition to being expensive, the change in Alaska may hurt the integrity of its elections by introducing inaccuracies into its voter rolls.