State-level Republicans are pouncing on the Trump administration’s move to add a citizenship question to the Census as a way to boost their electoral advantage in the next round of redistricting. Missouri Republicans last week advanced a measure that would put on November’s ballot a constitutional amendment to require state legislative districts to be drawn using the number of citizens, rather than total population. Two Republicans defected from the otherwise 90-34 party line House vote. Asked during a Friday floor debate over how Missouri would implement the requirement, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dean Plocher (R), pointed specifically to the fact that the citizenship question will be on the next Census.Full Article: Will Missouri GOPers Be First To Pounce On Trump’s Census Citizenship Gambit? – Talking Points Memo.
Articles about voting issues in Missouri.
Missouri legislators approved numerous changes Thursday to local elections, including allowing voters to request absentee ballots by email. The omnibus measure won final approval in the Senate, 24-7, more than a week after the House passed it 139-6. The measure would also potentially reduce the amount of time candidates would have to get their names on ballots during special elections.Full Article: Missouri legislators approve numerous changes to elections - StarTribune.com.
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.Full Article: Missouri Accused of Violating Federal Voter-Registration Laws.
Advocacy groups on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Missouri for not following federal voter laws. The lawsuit accuses the state of not automatically updating voter registration after address changes and not providing required registration information to some voters. The lawsuit lays blame on the Department of Revenue for its role in registration tied to driver’s license services, as well as the secretary of state for not ensuring voter laws are followed.Full Article: State sued for alleged violation of voter laws | Central MO Breaking News.
The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that will forbid the use of electronic voting machines and require the exclusive use of traditional paper ballots. The bill has already passed the House with a 108-31 vote. State Rep. Paul Curtman presented the bill to Missouri Senate last week. As stated in House Bill No. 2208, no electronic voting systems will be approved unless meeting specific guidelines and “The official ballot shall be a paper ballot that is hand-marked by the voter or, in the case of disabled voters who need assistance, by a paper-ballot marking device designed to assist the disabled.”Full Article: Local lawmakers looking to ban electronic voting | News | nwmissourinews.com.
The Missouri Senate is considering whether to permanently unplug the state’s touchscreen machines amid concerns that electronic voting machines might be susceptible to hackers. The proposal, which already passed the House in a 108-31 vote, would require voters to use paper ballots exclusively. Machines could still be used to count votes and to assist disabled voters in marking their ballots. But systems that only recorded votes electronically would be phased out. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Curtman of Washington, said the proposal would help ensure the “highest confidence in the integrity of our election system.” If enacted, the proposal would not be a sea change for the state. Every county in Missouri already uses at least some paper ballots. About two dozen counties also use electronic voting machines that do not require a paper ballot, but those machines still create a paper trail for auditing vote totals.Full Article: Missouri Senate Considers Banning Touchscreen Voting | Virginia News | US News.
Missouri could largely reduce the number of electronic voting machines it uses at election polls and instead rely heavily on the traditional paper ballots method. A Senate committee could vote this week on the proposal sponsored by State Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring. He says his measure would create a double layer of protection by having a physical record of each vote. “This would slowly phase them (machines) out upon life cycle replacement or mechanical failure,” he says. “So we’re not going to require anybody who has electronic devices to arbitrarily replace something that still has a useful lifespan.” Eigel says his legislation would still allow polling locations to be equipped with devices that could serve disabled voters. Phillip Michaels of eastern Missouri’s University City has built computer systems for large and small companies. He says St. Louis County has about 1,500 electronic machines and Eigel’s bill would have real savings.Full Article: Missouri Senate bill would phase out most electronic voting machines.
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.”Full Article: To limit initiative petitions in Missouri, some want to charge fees | The Kansas City Star.
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.Full Article: ACLU to appeal judge’s dismissal of Missouri voter ID lawsuit.
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.Full Article: Judge dismisses suit over Missouri’s voter ID law | The Seattle Times.
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.Full Article: Postmaster General asked to correct addresses of Missouri residents with Iowa mailing addresses – KTTN-FM 92.3 and KGOZ -FM 101.7 Serving north Missouri from Trenton.
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.Full Article: Mailing Quirk Has Missouri Residents With Iowa Addresses | Missouri News | US News.
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.
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.Full Article: Missouri secretary of state seeking dismissal of voter ID lawsuit | St. Louis Public Radio.
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.Full Article: Opponents of Missouri’s voter ID law seek favorable results in upcoming hearing.
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.”Full Article: Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren submits resignation letter.
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.Full Article: Voter ID opponents say law has echoes of Jim Crow, lynchings.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the state of Missouri over its new Voter ID law. The ACLU is challenging the Show-Me State in court, saying Missouri failed to provide adequate funding to implement the law. The funds are to be used for voter education, providing free voter identification and birth certificates, and training for poll workers. The new law took effect June 1. The case was filed on behalf of the Missouri NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Missouri, who are seeking a temporary restraining order to block the law from remaining in effect during a local special election on July 11. In-person absentee voting begins Monday, June 12, and an additional 52 Missouri counties head to the polls on August 8.Full Article: ACLU challenging Missouri’s Voter ID law in court - The Missouri Times.
The American Civil Liberties Union and another civil rights group filed suit Thursday seeking to stop implementation of Missouri’s new photo ID voting law in advance of a July 11 St. Louis special election, claiming the law is an attempt to disenfranchise voters. The suit, filed in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City, alleges the state has failed to provide adequate public education about the new requirements. “Voters were promised that this law was not about disenfranchising the most vulnerable in our state,” Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri, said in a written statement. “The state’s lack of funding and implementation of this law tells another story.”Full Article: Civil rights groups sue to block Missouri's new voter ID law | Political Fix | stltoday.com.
According to a new law, effective June 1 Missouri voters must have state-issued photo ID in order to vote. In the November 8 election, voters passed Constitutional Amendment 6, which authorizes photo ID requirements at the polls. In a May 31 press conference organized by the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, a group of over 30 nonprofits and public servants, questions were raised both about whether this law is ethical and about how it will be implemented. The rule will be effective in the elections this upcoming July and August, which will include a St. Louis City aldermanic election on July 11, and special elections for one Missouri House and one Missouri Senate seat on August 8.Full Article: New voter photo ID law is unclear and unfunded, advocates claim | Local News | stlamerican.com.