Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Science and the Environment

E-Verify Ordinance Passes by a Thin Margin; Requires All Springfield Businesses to Check Legal


Springfield voters have passed the controversial E-Verify proposal, which requires all Springfield employers to use the E-Verify program to make sure all new employees are legally authorized to work. KSMU’s Nolan Epstein has the details.

Springfield voters narrowly decided in favor of passing the proposal. The vote was about 50.6 percent voting for the proposal to 49.3 percent voting against it. This now means that employers in Springfield must use the Internet-based system to confirm that workers can legally be employed in the United States.

The approval was thought of by some as a step backward for the city of Springfield. Grupo Latinoamericano President Yolanda Lorge fells that the E-Verify ordinance will not be good for the city.

“This was wrong. This was wrong from the beginning, and so many aspects of the issue, the legal issues, the unfairness, the targeting of certain groups, and so forth,” Lorge said.

For others, the approval was a significant win. Jerry Wilson is Director of Communications for the Ozarks Minutemen.He says even though he was in favor of the ordinance, people who disagree with the E-Verify regulation should now move forward.

“To those who oppose this ordinance, we understand the contentious nature of the issue, and that people of good conscience can disagree. We ask that they now put their differences aside and support the rule of law,” Wilson said.

The narrow margin of approval likely leaves some Springfield citizens thinking about a potential recount of the votes. Greene County Clerk Richard Struckhoff said even though it was very close, the proposal passed by more than one percent. That means it doesn’t qualify for an automatic recount.

For KSMU News, I’m Nolan Epstein.