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.
Articles about voting issues in Missouri.
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.’”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.