Monthly Archives: May 2020

Judge Dismisses Pro-Voter Lawsuits

Cole County Court Judge Jon Beetem has dismissed two lawsuits filed by the Missouri League of Women Voters and the Missouri Chapter of the NAACP which sought to expand absentee voting in 2020 and to challenge the state’s administration of the voter ID law.

 “The League will continue our 100-year fight for the right to vote for all Missourians, which includes calling out the state when the law is not being administered correctly or voters are being misled,” said LWVMO President Evelyn Maddox. “Voters deserve to have the information and tools they need to safely cast a ballot.” “The ACLU and the Missouri Voters Protection Coalition have filed an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court on the absentee voting litigation.

A ruling the Priorities USA case earlier this year said election authorities cannot require voters without a photo ID to sign an affidavit to have their vote count. On the last day of session, the legislature passed SB631 which specifies that voters who are ill or at high risk of contracting COVID-19 can cast an absentee ballot without a notary; and allows all other voters in Missouri to vote by mail, with a notary. The new statute doesn’t waive the notary requirement for healthy voters under age 65.  

An attempt to tighten the state’s photo ID law was withdrawn from SB 631; therefore, several non-photo IDs remain acceptable to vote. The list includes a military or student ID, current utility bill or bank statement, voter notification card from the election authority, or other government document. Voters casting a ballot in person must present a valid form of ID to vote. Voters casting ballots by mail must submit a copy of their ID if they are voting for the first time since registering in the jurisdiction.