Missouri

Articles about voting issues in Missouri.

Missouri: To limit initiative petitions in Missouri, some want to charge fees | The Kansas City Star

Ten years ago, 15 initiative petitions were filed with the secretary of state’s office in the hopes of making it on the statewide ballot. This year, that number has skyrocketed to 330 and counting. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a first-term Republican and the state’s top election official, says the initiative petition process is getting out of hand. The time and resources spent on ballot summaries, signature verification, fiscal analysis and publication in the media go up every year along with the number of petitions. So he’s asking lawmakers to overhaul a process he says is being dominated by special interests, most notably by charging fees for filing initiative petitions and verifying signatures once they are collected. “Right now, we have individuals who are spending millions of dollars because they can’t get the laws that they want and they want to bypass the legislature,” Ashcroft said. “I think that’s inappropriate. We shouldn’t be subsidizing that with taxpayer dollars.” Read More

Missouri: ACLU to appeal judge’s dismissal of Missouri voter ID lawsuit | Missourinet

Cole County Judge Jon Beetum has granted a motion by Republican Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to dismiss a lawsuit about requiring Missourians to show their ID to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit on behalf of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters claiming the state hasn’t adequately provided education, poll worker training or funding for ID’s the law calls for. ACLU of Missouri Legal Director Tony Rothert tells Missourinet the fight isn’t over. “Try as it may, the state cannot undermine voting rights by forcing onerous changes to election law and then compounding those burdens by failing to provide funding for proper implementation. We will appeal,” says Rothert. Read More

Missouri: Judge dismisses suit over Missouri’s voter ID law | Associated Press

A lawsuit alleging that Missouri’s new voter identification law was intended to make it harder for poor and minority residents to cast their ballots has been dismissed. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem on Tuesday threw out the suit filed in June by the ACLU and the Advancement Project on behalf of the Missouri NAACP and the League of Women Voters. Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a November 2016 ballot measure instituting voter ID. The law became effective June 1. Read More

Missouri: Postmaster General asked to correct addresses of Missouri residents with Iowa mailing addresses | KTTN

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has written a letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan asking the postal service to correct addresses of Missouri residents with Iowa mailing addresses. Senator McCaskill mentioned Clark County commissioners and residents of Clark County formally have requested the postal service make the address changes. In addition, the Senator noted residents of the Missouri counties of Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, and Atchison also are affected. McCaskill urged the Postmaster General to proactively work with all of those counties to correct the issue as soon as possible. The Senator quoted Clark County Commissioner Buddy Kattelmann as saying the problem has existed for at least 30 years. She said the presiding commissioner claims no one has provided a definitive answer as to why Missouri residents in Clark County have Iowa addresses. Read More

Missouri: Mailing Quirk Has Missouri Residents With Iowa Addresses | Associated Press

For decades, an idiosyncrasy in the mail delivery system has forced some rural northern Missouri residents to have Iowa mailing addresses, which has created roadblocks and red tape for residents when they vote or pay taxes — even when they die. Local officials have been asking for help for years from local politicians and postal officials to no avail. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill recently learned about the quirk, calling it “one of the dumbest things I’ve come across.” McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, sent a letter this week to Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, asking that the U.S. Postal Service “take immediate action” on behalf of Missouri residents who have Iowa mailing addresses. Brennan’s spokesman David Partenheimer said in a statement this week that his agency is “working with the senator to address this issue and will respond directly to her office.” He declined further comment. Read More

Missouri: Boone County’s aging election equipment comes with estimated $1 million replacement price tag | Columbia Daily Tribune

Boone County’s aging voting equipment will need to be replaced in the next couple of years, and the estimated $1 million expense — once covered in the past by the federal government — solely will be the county’s responsibility. The Help America Vote Act of 2002, which reformed the U.S. voting process, awarded Boone County $888,700 more than a decade ago to purchase new equipment, including software, ballot counting equipment known as M100 machines and iVote machines, or the touchscreen ballots accessible through the American Disabilities Act.
The county’s voting equipment, which has a 10-year lifespan, has experienced an increasing number of errors in recent years and needs to be replaced, said Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks. Burks, appointed to the position in late July by Gov. Eric Greitens, said his office did not have enough time to meet the 2018 budget request deadline on Sept. 30 to find funding for replacement equipment next year. But he expects to have a plan for 2019. Read More

Missouri: Secretary of State seeking dismissal of voter ID lawsuit | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against the state’s new voter ID law. In a statement, Ashcroft said the certified results of the Aug. 8 special elections in two legislative districts showed that “Missouri’s photo voter ID law works.” The law took effect June 1. Days later, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Advancement Project filed a lawsuit in Cole County on behalf of the Missouri NAACP and the League of Women Voters.  Read More

Missouri: Opponents of voter ID law seek favorable results in upcoming hearing | MissouriNet

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. Read More

Missouri: Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren submits resignation letter | Colombia Daily Tribune

Longtime Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren submitted her resignation letter to Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday and will leave the office at the end of this month, Noren said in a statement emailed to reporters. Noren cited health reasons for her resignation, which said was “by far the hardest task I have ever had to do in all my years as county clerk.” Noren took a leave of absence in 2013 to undergo treatment for a condition similar to colorectal cancer. Aside from her leave of absence, Noren continued to oversee her office operations and county’s elections while battling cancer. “In recent weeks my health has deteriorated rapidly and there are no viable treatment options available,” Noren said in her statement. “To continue trying to do my job will only place an additional burden on my family, my staff, and the other elected officials.” Read More

Missouri: Voter ID opponents say law has echoes of Jim Crow, lynchings | Springfield News-Leader

Missouri’s new voter ID law was motivated by the same forces that lead to Jim Crow laws and segregation, according to a small group of local activists gathered Wednesday at Springfield’s Park Central Square, site of the 1906 lynching of three black men. Several people, including representatives of the Missouri NAACP and Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri, gathered downtown to speak with local journalists about the new law, which went into effect June 1. Marlon Graves, vice president of the Springfield NAACP chapter, and local liberal activist Marla Marantz explained the significance of holding the event in the Park Central Square.  Read More