The St. Louis County Board of Elections unanimously voted Tuesday to shift toward using paper ballots and away from touch-screen voting machines. The elections board is moving forward with a $6.9 million contract with Hart Intercivic eSlate to provide new voting machines and software that primarily run a paper ballot system. The new apparatus is expected to be in place for the Nov. 5 election. A small number of touch-screen machines — one per polling station — will continue to be available for people with disabilities, said election board chair Sharon Buchanan-McClure. It’s unclear how many machines were purchased or other details, since the contract was not immediately provided Tuesday. The board held a closed-door meeting to discuss its voting machine options. Then, it opened the meeting to take the vote on the contract without any public discussion about its decision.Full Article: St. Louis County Voters To Mostly Use Paper Ballots | KBIA.
Articles about voting issues in Missouri.
The St. Louis County Board of Elections is upgrading its voting equipment for the upcoming 2020 elections. The county has roughly 1,800 touch voting machines and 500 optical scan paper ballot tabulators that have had their fair share of wear and tear, and the software is now out of date. Eric Fey, the Democratic director of elections for the St. Louis County Board, said the last time county voters had new voting equipment was in 2005. “Although the equipment is 100% accurate, we have to replace components more often,” Fey said. “It’s very hard to get replacement parts. And then with the software, the programming of the ballot, the tabulation of the ballots is very labor intensive.” Currently, the board of elections is holding public demonstrations with three contenders including Dominion, Hart InterCivic and the county’s current vendor Election Systems & Software.Full Article: St. Louis County Board Of Elections Gearing Up For Upgrades | St. Louis Public Radio.
Voters could get the chance to check their electronic ballot for accuracy before turning it in under a proposed bill. HB 543, sponsored by Rep. Tony Lovasco, R-O’Fallon, would require electronic voting machines to print out a paper ballot that could be reviewed by the voter. That paper ballot would also be available to those checking ballots during recounts. The bill also works to phase out electronic voting machines that directly record results without producing some sort of physical copy. As the machines die out due to age or malfunction, the bill states that they would not be replaced. The bill would make paper ballots the “official ballot” except for those submitted by electronic machines that have not yet been replaced.Full Article: Lawmakers discuss return to paper ballots | State News | columbiamissourian.com.
Several Missouri State students and dozens more Greene County voters were kept from the polls on Nov. 6 because of incorrect information on their voter registration cards. A social media post by one MSU student stated that some members of the Missouri State NAACP chapter were unable to vote after turning in their voter registration cards to the organization. The post claimed that the NAACP had not turned in the cards. The student who made the post declined to be interviewed. But, Cheryl Clay, the president of the Springfield branch of the NAACP, said that claim is not true. The issue, Clay said, was not that the cards weren’t turned in — it’s that they were filled out incorrectly. A common issue was missing apartment numbers in addresses.Full Article: Voting registration issues leave voters stranded on Election Day | News | the-standard.org.
Of all the freedoms Anthony Flanagan lost during his eight years under state care, the right to vote was among the toughest. Flanagan, a quadriplegic who was deemed unable to care for himself because of psychiatric issues, lived under a legal guardianship by the state of Missouri from 2008 to 2016. Often seen as protective of people incapacitated by mental illness or developmental disabilities, guardianship can also strip people of many rights the rest of us enjoy, including the right to vote. Flanagan admired Barack Obama during his presidential run in 2008, thinking him intelligent and articulate. Though he doesn’t consider himself a member of either political party, Flanagan was disappointed that the state deprived him of the chance to vote in an historic election. “Like most of the country, I was like ‘Wow, they’re really gonna elect a black president! This is cool,” Flanagan, now 49, said. “I was like, ‘Oh man, I wish I could vote.’”Full Article: Missouri Stops More 'Mentally Incapacitated' People From Voting Than Anywhere Else | KCUR.
Appeals court judges on Tuesday said a lawsuit can move forward that alleges Missouri lawmakers didn’t spend enough money on implementation of a new voter photo identification law and it consequently should not be enforced. The decision by the Western District Court of Appeals panel reversed a circuit court judge’s January ruling to dismiss the case , meaning the legal challenge can continue. The American Civil Liberties Union, Advancement Project, Missouri NAACP and League of Women Voters filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that state lawmakers didn’t budget enough money for the state to properly educate voters on the changes, provide free IDs and birth certificates, and train poll workers. As a result, the groups argued that the heart of the law should not be carried out.Full Article: Appeals judges OK lawsuit on Missouri voter photo ID funding | The News Tribune.
A Missouri judge on Tuesday made clear that local election workers cannot enforce a core requirement in a new voter photo identification law, taking away the teeth of the law in advance of a marquee U.S. Senate election on Nov. 6. At issue is a new law that had directed voters to present a valid photo ID or sign a sworn statement and present some other form of identification in order to cast a regular ballot. Senior Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan earlier this month struck down the requirement that voters without proper photo ID sign a sworn statement. But Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who supports a photo ID law, said the ruling caused “mass confusion” just weeks before the pivotal election between Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican rival, Attorney General Josh Hawley.Full Article: Missouri judge clarifies voter ID ruling ahead of key Senate contest | PBS NewsHour.
Missouri voters shouldn’t be asked to sign an affidavit if they attempt to vote without a photo ID in the Nov. 6 general election, after the Missouri Supreme Court on Friday denied Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Attorney General Josh Hawley’s request to overturn a ruling striking part of the state’s new voter ID law. The state’s lawyers had asked the court to stay the immediate effectiveness of Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan’s order, which said the state can’t require voters who are “otherwise qualified to cast a regular ballot” to sign an affidavit — if they don’t have one of the photo IDs lawmakers included in the new law, which went into effect July 1, 2017. Missouri voters, by a 63 percent margin in November 2016, added an amendment to the Missouri Constitution allowing lawmakers to create requirements for voters to identify themselves when voting at their polling place, including using photo IDs.Full Article: Part of Missouri's voter ID law still suspended | Central MO Breaking News.
The Missouri Republican Party sent mailers to 10,000 voters across the state with false information about when their absentee ballots are due, the party’s executive director acknowledged Friday. Ray Bozarth said the incorrect information was printed on postcards as the result of a miscommunication between the party and its vendor, which he declined to name. Bozarth also did not say how the miscommunication occurred. A photo of the mailer provided to the Star shows a red bar across the top that says “urgent notice” in all capital letters and encourages voters to return their mail-in ballots “today.”Full Article: Republican mailers with false info sent to Missouri voters | The Kansas City Star.
Missouri: St. Louis Democrats urge Attorney General to drop voter photo ID appeal | St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis area Democrats are using an appeal of a court ruling against Missouri’s voter photo identification law as a rallying cry in the state’s competitive race for U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, joined Democratic members of the Missouri General Assembly Monday to demand that Attorney General Josh Hawley drop his defense of the law. A Cole County judge last week declared unconstitutional the sworn statement voters who used non-photo identification like a utility bill had to sign to cast a ballot. “Instead of stepping up to protect the voting rights of these Missourians who are most at risk of being disenfranchised, our AG, Josh Hawley, is appealing Judge [Richard]Callahan’s ruling in order to suppress the vote of minorities, the disabled and the rural poor who are most likely to vote for his opponent,” Clay said.Full Article: St. Louis Democrats urge Hawley to drop voter photo ID appeal | St. Louis Public Radio.
Missouri: Voter ID ruling has election authorities worried about confusion at polls | Columbia Missourian
As the Nov. 6 general election approaches, a new shake-up regarding voter identification laws has election authorities across Missouri — including in Boone County — on their toes. Cole County Judge Richard Callahan on Tuesday blocked provisions of the voter ID law that require people with a non-photo ID to sign an affidavit before casting a ballot. Callahan issued the ruling in a lawsuit filed against the state by Priorities USA. Although an affidavit requirement could be reasonable, the one used for voters who present an ID without a photo is “contradictory and misleading,” Callahan ruled. “The affidavit plainly requires the voter to swear that they do not possess a form of personal identification approved for voting while simultaneously presenting to the election authority a form of personal identification that is approved,” Callahan wrote.Full Article: Voter ID ruling has election authorities worried about confusion at polls | Elections | columbiamissourian.com.
A Cole County judge on Tuesday upheld most of a Missouri law requiring that voters present an ID at the polls but barred the state from requiring voters without a photo ID to sign a statement the court deemed “misleading.” Priorities USA, a national progressive organization, challenged Missouri’s voter ID law in a lawsuit filed in June. Missouri voters in 2016 gave the state authority by a constitutional amendment to impose a voter ID requirement. Under the state’s requirement, voters are to present a government-issued photo ID prior to voting if they have one. Voters who don’t have a photo ID but had another form of ID without a photo were supposed to sign a statement confirming their identity under penalty of perjury.Full Article: Judge rules part of Missouri voter ID law unconstitutional | The Kansas City Star.
Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan said Monday he expects to have a ruling next week in the lawsuit challenging Missouri’s new law requiring a photo identification as the easiest way to cast a vote at the polls. He gave lawyers for both sides until the end of Wednesday to submit any final briefs in the case. The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by national group Priorities USA, two Missouri residents and the West (St. Louis) County Community Action Network. They argue that a 2016 voter-approved amendment and the enacting legislation adding the photo ID language to Missouri Constitution don’t “eliminate the express, constitutional right to vote” that already is defined in two different places in the Constitution — and they want Callahan to block enforcement of the law during the Nov. 6 general election. “Plaintiffs started this case talking about the right to vote, and the unique place it holds in our democracy,” lawyer Uzoma Nkwonta, of Washington, D.C., told Callahan at the beginning of Monday’s final arguments in the trial that began last week.Full Article: Judge expects to rule on voter photo ID case next week | Central MO Breaking News.
Closing arguments will be Monday in the lawsuit challenging Missouri’s current voter ID law, after the state presented its final witness Wednesday. Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan is being asked to rule on the plaintiffs’ claim that Missouri’s new voter ID law conflicts with existing constitutional language that says people who are properly registered to vote “are entitled” to vote at all elections. The new law went into effect July 1, 2017, after voters in November 2016 added language to the state Constitution saying lawmakers could pass a law specifying the kinds of identification a voter would need to show at the polls before casting a vote.Full Article: Testimony ends in voter ID lawsuit | Central MO Breaking News.
A second day of arguments in a lawsuit challenging Missouri’s photo voter ID law took place Tuesday at the Cole County Court House in Jefferson City. The parties bringing the litigation are Priorities USA, a national progressive organization that promotes voting rights, and 71-one-year-old Mildred Gutierrez, a Lee’s Summit resident. Gutierrez was allowed to vote in the November 2017 election only after signing a sworn statement under penalty of perjury because she did not have a valid photo ID. University of Wisconsin Political Scientist Kenneth Mayer offered expert testimony for Priorities USA. He called the sworn statement, also known as an affidavit, that Gutierrez had to sign in order to cast a ballot completely incomprehensible.Full Article: Lawsuit against Missouri’s voter ID law enters second day in court - Missourinet.
Missouri: Federal judge orders protection for Missouri voters at risk of being disenfranchised in 2018 Midterms | St. Louis American
A federal judge in the Western District of Missouri issued an order on Friday requiring the State of Missouri to take immediate steps to prevent Missourians from being denied their right to vote in this November’s election as a result of the state’s failure to comply with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The judge ordered that the online and mail change-of-address forms used by the state motor vehicle agency, the Department of Revenue (DOR), be updated to provide voter registration information, and that the state send every voter who has used these forms since August 1, 2017 a mailing that includes a voter registration form and information about the appropriate polling location. These mailings must continue to be sent to every voter who uses the mail and online change-of-address forms until the court-ordered changes to those forms are completed.Full Article: Federal judge orders protection for Missouri voters at risk of being disenfranchised in 2018 Midterms | Local News | stlamerican.com.
Missouri: Lawsuit from liberal group challenging voter ID law being heard in Jefferson City | Missourinet
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.”Full Article: Lawsuit from liberal group challenging Missouri’s voter ID law being heard in Jefferson City - Missourinet.
A federal judge ordered Missouri officials to provide voter registration information to residents seeking to update their addresses at motor vehicle offices by mail or online. U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes found that their failure to do so violates the National Voter Registration Act, more commonly known as the federal motor voter law. Wimes ordered the action to be taken ahead of this November’s election. His order came in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this year by the League of Women Voters and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. The suit named Missouri Secretary of State John R. “Jay” Ashcroft and Joel Walters, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. Ashcroft is the state’s chief election official responsible for enforcing the motor voter law. The Department of Revenue oversees the Driver License Bureau.Full Article: Judge Orders Missouri Officials To Comply With Motor Voter Law | KCUR.
U.S. citizens across the country soon will vote on all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, for 35 U.S. senators and three dozen governorships. The House of Representatives and possibly the Senate are up for grabs. Given the high stakes, voters would do well to check at least a month ahead of time with their local board of elections to see if they’re still registered to vote. This is especially true for people of color. The reason is that millions could find their right to vote challenged or taken away under suspicion that they’re trying to vote more than once, largely due to 26 states using the Interstate Voter Crosscheck system, which compares lists of voters in different states and challenges the registration of those whose names come up more than once.Full Article: Voter Crosscheck may wrongly purge Missouri voters from voting rolls | Local News | stlamerican.com.
A Kansas City attorney who helped draw the boundaries of Missouri’s current legislative districts is trying to knock a question off the November ballot designed to end partisan gerrymandering. In a lawsuit filed on behalf of Paul Ritter, a Miller County resident, attorney Eddie Greim said the proposed referendum violates a provision in the Missouri Constitution that prevents multiple subjects from being combined into one ballot proposal. “One purpose of the prohibition on multiple subjects in a single ballot proposal is to prevent `logrolling,’ a practice familiar to legislative bodies whereby unrelated subjects that individually might not muster enough support to pass are combined to generate the necessary support,” the lawsuit says.Full Article: Lawsuit seeks to knock gerrymandering issue off Missouri's November ballot | Political Fix | stltoday.com.