Court Rejects Photo ID Rules
The Missouri Supreme Court in January permanently struck down a portion of Missouri’s voter ID law. Election officials will not be allowed to require a photo ID to vote or represent in advertising and materials that a photo ID is required to vote.
In Priorities USA v. Missouri, the court agreed with the trial court’s conclusion that the affidavit portion of Missouri’s voter ID law was “misleading and contradictory” by inferring that a photo ID is required to vote when the law in fact allows voters to vote with non-photo ID. The court also acknowledged the fundamental nature of the right to vote under the Missouri Constitution, noting that the right to vote and right to equal protection under the Missouri constitution are “even more extensive than those provided by the federal constitution.”
While the injunction issued in October 2018 is now permanent, the House Committee on Elections had a hearing Jan. 22 on a bill to rewrite the affidavit and eliminate the option of using non-photo IDs. HB1600 would also drop the requirement that voters be notified in advance about changes in the law. The League expects a decision soon in its lawsuit on the Secretary of State’s implementation of the voter ID law.
Denise Lieberman of the Advancement Project testified against HB1600, calling it an attempt to reinstate a strict photo ID requirement. “It would require voters to show a non-expired state issued photo ID to vote or cast a provisional ballot that would only be counted if the voter returned with photo ID or if the voter’s signature on the provisional ballot envelope matches the signature on their voter registration.”