Members and allies of the NAACP rallied against photo voter ID laws Tuesday morning in the Capitol rotunda for the group’s legislative lobby day, the day after voter ID was brought up in the Senate for a second time in two weeks. State and local leaders, including Secretary of State Jason Kander, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Democratic Kansas City Rep. Brandon Ellington, and Ben Chapel – president of the NAACP’s Missouri Chapter, spoke to a group of supporters and called for action on photo voter ID, education, court reform and other issues. “Before we leave today, we will take our place in the Senate gallery and bare witness,” Chapel told the crowd. “Let’s go see everyone who stands in our way. Our way is the American way. We vote and we pay taxes.”
Most of the speakers focused on the voter ID law, a law that they consider a roll-back of rights won during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
“The issues we’re fighting for today are issues we thought were resolved 50 years ago,” Ellington, chair of the legislature’s black caucus, said. “We had people die for the right to vote and now people are going to turn around and tell us it’s not a right, it’s a privilege.”
Kander also spoke against the photo voter ID measure. “I’m here because black lives matter,” Kander said. “As secretary of state, I will not stand for legislation that would disenfranchise a single Missouri voter,” he continued. “It’s not right and we have to try to stop it.”