A lawsuit led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Missouri’s new photo voter ID law will have a hearing in September. The suit, filed in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City, claims the state hasn’t adequately provided education, poll worker training or funding for ID’s the law calls for. Daniela Velazquez with the ACLU of Missouri says that voters’ right are under threat. “This lawsuit is really about ‘Can Missouri really implement this law that they said they were going to do without putting the voters of Missouri at risk for being able to vote” said Velazquez. 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.
Velazquez notes voter ID laws in North Carolina and Wisconsin that were ultimately thrown out by courts also withstood initial challenges.
“You have to prove irreparable harm before the law goes into effect, which is really, really difficult. What actually happened in North Carolina and Wisconsin is that the lawyers also tried to do that, and they didn’t get that temporary restraining order. And, of course afterward, it was found that these laws did cause irreparable harm.”