The League of Women Voters of Missouri sued the state Tuesday, claiming it did not follow federal voting-rights law requiring it to update the voter database with information from motor-vehicle records, which the group says impacts half a million residents every year. The National Voter Registration Act, or NVRA, requires states to offer residents the opportunity to register to vote whenever someone applies for a new or renewed driver’s license or state ID. It also requires the state to update the individual’s voter registration record whenever a voter updates their address information with the state motor vehicle agency. But the League of Women Voters of Missouri, joined by the St. Louis and Greater Kansas City branches of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, claims the state has failed to comply with the federal law.
The voting advocacy groups sued Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft and Joel Walters, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, on Tuesday in Jefferson City federal court. They are represented by Anthony Rothert with the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.
“The Missouri Secretary of State and the director of the state motor vehicle agency, the Department of Revenue, are flouting their NVRA obligations with respect to change-of-address transactions, mail transactions for active-duty military personnel and their dependents, and certain in-person license transactions for Missourians over the age of 65, among others,” the complaint states.