Cole County Judge Jon Beetum has granted a motion by Republican Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to dismiss a lawsuit about requiring Missourians to show their ID to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit on behalf of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters claiming the state hasn’t adequately provided education, poll worker training or funding for ID’s the law calls for. ACLU of Missouri Legal Director Tony Rothert tells Missourinet the fight isn’t over. “Try as it may, the state cannot undermine voting rights by forcing onerous changes to election law and then compounding those burdens by failing to provide funding for proper implementation. We will appeal,” says Rothert.
The ACLU lawsuit cites Ashcroft requesting $5 million to cover costs for enacting the law, which went into effect last June. Instead, his office was allocated $1.5 million by the legislature. Ashcroft has said the money provided has been sufficient, and added that there are provisions to deal with any shortage of funding.
When the lawsuit was filed in the second week of June, the ACLU had hoped a judge would issue a temporary restraining order to block the law before two local special elections took place – one in southern Missouri’s New Madrid, and the other in St. Louis city. The judge declined to do so.
The organization has also said that voters’ rights are being threatened and strict voter ID laws result in a voter turnout decline of several percentage points.