Arguments in a lawsuit challenging Missouri’s voter ID law are being made at the Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City. Hearings before Judge Richard Callahan began Monday morning. The complaint was brought on behalf of 71-one-year-old Mildred Gutierrez, a Lee’s Summit resident. Gutierrez was required to sign a sworn statement under penalty of perjury because she did not have a valid photo ID in order to vote in the November 2017 election. Priorities USA, a national progressive organization that promotes voting rights, filed the lawsuit, claiming the law is unconstitutional and creates an undue burden for voters lacking the required identification. The suit contends the sworn statement contains “confusing and threatening provisions that discourage qualified voters from attempting to exercise their right to vote without photo ID.”
Gutierrez has been registered to vote in Missouri for over 40 years, regularly votes in statewide and local, municipal elections, and has previously served as an Election Judge in Jackson County in the Kansas City area.
In July 2016, her driver’s license expired, and, due to her failing vision at the time, was not eligible for renewal. She attempted to vote with other forms of identification in 2017 that had previously been accepted including her utility bill and her voter registration card before being required to sign the sworn statement. She was informed by election officials that she would not be permitted to vote in future elections unless she presented photo ID.