A Cole County judge on Tuesday upheld most of a Missouri law requiring that voters present an ID at the polls but barred the state from requiring voters without a photo ID to sign a statement the court deemed “misleading.” Priorities USA, a national progressive organization, challenged Missouri’s voter ID law in a lawsuit filed in June. Missouri voters in 2016 gave the state authority by a constitutional amendment to impose a voter ID requirement. Under the state’s requirement, voters are to present a government-issued photo ID prior to voting if they have one. Voters who don’t have a photo ID but had another form of ID without a photo were supposed to sign a statement confirming their identity under penalty of perjury.
Senior Circuit Judge Richard Callahan ruled Tuesday that the state could not require “voters otherwise qualified to cast a regular ballot” to sign the sworn statement the way it’s currently written if they didn’t have a photo ID. He said it “impermissibly infringes on a citizen’s right to vote as guaranteed under the Missouri Constitution.”
In his ruling, Callahan called the statement’s language “contradictory and misleading.”
“The affidavit plainly requires the voter to swear that they do not possess a form of personal identification approved for voting while simultaneously presenting to the election authority a form of personal identification that is approved,” the ruling says.