JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) –  As a candidate, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon denounced a proposed photo identification requirement for voters as an “onerous requirement.”

Now that he is governor, Nixon will have to decide whether to follow through with his earlier convictions and veto legislation that would implement a photo identification requirement.

The catch is that the measure is paired with a provision allowing an early voting period before elections — a proposal that Nixon supports.

The politically sticky situation for Nixon is the result of some maneuvering by Republican legislative leaders who for years have sought to implement a photo ID requirement for voters but had resisted efforts to allow a period during which people can cast ballots — with no absentee excuse needed — before the official election day.

This year, lawmakers passed a pair of measures on the subject.

They referred a proposed constitutional amendment to the 2012 ballot that, if approved by voters, would authorize both a photo ID mandate and an early voting period.

They also passed a bill, which is pending before Nixon, to place specific details on both prongs of the voting law changes into state statute.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press


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