Voter advocacy groups and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit challenging a proposed state constitutional amendment that would allow photo-identification requirements in Missouri elections.
State lawmakers passed the proposed amendment in May, placing it on the November 2012 ballot for ratification. If voters approve the measure, lawmakers will be empowered to require future voters to show a state-issued photo ID at the ballot box.
Currently, voters can prove their identity with one of several documents, including a utility bill or bank statement.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Cole County Circuit Court, argues that the summary voters will read when considering the amendment is misleading and unfair. It asks the court to either pull the amendment from the ballot, or approve a different summary.
“…The court should reject this deceptive initiative,” said Denise Lieberman, an attorney for the Advancement Project, one of the groups filing the suit. “It does not make clear to voters that they will be giving up a fundamental right.”
The measure’s sponsor, Sen. Bill Stouffer, a Napton Republican, released a statement Thursday defending the current ballot summary as clear and concise.
“The question well represents the constitutional amendment voters will consider,” Stouffer said. “Unfortunately, some special interests will do whatever they can to allow fraudulent voting in our state.”
The lawsuit names Stouffer, legislative leaders and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan as defendants. Carnahan’s office administers state elections and certifies proposed amendments for the ballot.