National: Kander says courts can’t be counted on to save voting rights in Trump era | The Kansas City Star

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander told a crowd of people at a progressive event in Parkville Saturday that they can’t just rely on the courts to protect voting rights under President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Kander, a Democrat, said that with Trump appointing judges and Sessions running the U.S. Department of Justice, voting rights cases will become tougher to win. Legal challenges have to be paired with political activism. “I believe there should be political consequences for politicians who commit voter suppression,” Kander said. “I believe that if you make it harder to vote, then we should make it harder for you to get reelected.” Kander, who started a political action committee this year called Let America Vote, spoke at a “voting rights festival” hosted at English Landing Park by Northland Progress. The festival is part of the group’s “In for 10” campaign, in which volunteers pledge to help at least 10 Missouri citizens register to vote.

Missouri: Secretary of state candidate files voter ID measure | Associated Press

A Republican candidate for Missouri secretary of state on Thursday filed an initiative petition that would allow the Legislature to require voters to present photo identification at the polls. St. Louis attorney Jay Ashcroft filed the proposed constitutional amendment with the secretary of state’s office to permit a photo ID requirement. Republican supporters, including Ashcroft’s opponent in the GOP primary Sen. Will Kraus, have pushed to amend the state’s constitution since the Missouri Supreme Court declared photo ID requirements unconstitutional in 2006. Supporters of requiring photo ID at the polls say it would prevent in-person voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections. But Democratic opponents say the measure would make it harder for minorities, women and the poor to vote.

Missouri: State Official Says Photo ID At Polls Would Put ‘Unjust Burden’ on Missouri Voters | The Missourian

Voter photo ID legislation filed in the Missouri House would put an “unjust burden” on voters, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Jason Kander told The Missourian Monday. Under the legislation, which would be subject to voter approval, citizens could be required to present a photo ID at the polls in order to vote. Currently, voters can present an ID without a picture to vote but also have the option of presenting a photo ID. Proponents of photo ID at the polls say it can reduce the risk of voter fraud. Opponents say requiring photo ID can put up barriers for voters.

Missouri: House passes voter ID bills | Northwest Missourian

The Missouri House of Representatives once again passed legislation regarding voter identification. Over the past several years, the House has attempted to implement new laws to combat voter fraud but have been struck down by the Missouri Senate and the Missouri Supreme court. The Missouri legislature first must amend the constitution to allow for a voter identification law to be passed. House Bill 30 will implement voter identification restrictions. Just last year a similar bill was presented, House Bill 1073, but faced scrutiny from Secretary of State Jason Kander.

Missouri: Since 2004, St. Louis Has Purged 25 Percent Of Its Voters | St. Louis Public Radio

Over the past 10 years since it faced two federal lawsuits, the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners has quietly cut 75,000 people off of its voter rolls. That represents more than a quarter of the 281, 316 voters on the city’s rolls in 2004. St. Louis’ voter list now totals 206,349, according to state election records. The city’s Republican elections director, Gary Stoff, says none of the excised voters appears to have been an active voter. He suspects most were people who had moved or died and whose names had simply been languishing on the city’s voter rolls for years. But the reduction in St. Louis’ voter rolls appears to be by far the most dramatic action taken by the 29 Missouri counties – the city of St. Louis is its own county – that were sued 10 years ago by the federal government because they had more people on their voter rolls than their entire voting-age population.

Missouri: Dugger’s photo I.D. legislation debated | Webster County Citizen

Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, who represents Seymour and eastern Webster County in the Missouri House of Representatives, admits he has brought his voter I.D. bill before the legislature many times. “If you’ve been on [the Missouri House Elections] Committee in the past, you are not seeing any new information here today,” he said. “This is basically the same bill I’ve been presenting for the last several years.” Dugger, the former Wright County Clerk, presented his bill to the House Elections Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 27, and it was met with significant hostility from lawmakers, interest groups and everyday Missourians. “I’m not exactly speechless, but I am just amazed that you have the chutzpah to keep bringing this back to this committee,” said State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis County.

Missouri: Legislators Once Again Consider Photo-ID Mandate For Voters | St. Louis Public Radio

The decade-long effort to require photo IDs in Missouri voting booths is once again under way in the General Assembly, although it’s unclear if the chances are any brighter. State Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, is once again the chief sponsor of the two-pronged campaign to mandate government-issued photo IDs at the polls. “I am 100 percent sure that voter impersonation fraud is taking place in the state of Missouri,’’ he said a hearing Tuesday before a House committee. State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, is among the opposition leaders who say there’s been no proof of such fraud. They say that Dugger is targeting certain groups of Democratic-leaning voters – including students and minorities – who are less likely to have the types of photo IDs his legislation requires.

Missouri: Votes From August Election On Right-To-Farm Measure To Be Recounted Statewide | Ste Genivieve Herald

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has ordered a statewide recount of the votes cast in the August 5 Primary Election on Constitutional Amendment 1. The announcement was made August 26, according to Kander’s website. Entitled “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed,” Amendment 1, which passed by a simple majority vote, aims to make farming a right in Missouri, “similar in scope and protection to the speech, religion and gun rights already in Missouri’s constitution,” according to campaign materials authored by Attorney Brent Haden of the Haden & Byrne Law Firm of Columbia.

Missouri: Early voting initiative may miss Missouri ballot | Associated Press

A Missouri proposal to create one of the most expansive early voting periods in the nation appears to have fallen short of reaching the November ballot, according to an Associated Press analysis of initiative petition signatures. The AP review of signature counts conducted by Missouri’s local election authorities found that the proposed constitutional amendment on early voting lacks enough valid signatures of registered voters in all but two of the state’s eight congressional districts. To qualify for the ballot, initiatives must get signatures equal 8 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in at least six of the congressional districts. Missouri currently allows absentee voting only in limited circumstances when people attest that they won’t be able to vote in person on Election Day. The initiative proposed a 42-day, no-excuse-needed early voting period that would have been one of the longest in the nation and also would have allowed votes to be cast on weekends.

Missouri: Kander expands military voting opportunities | The Rolla Daily News

Missourians serving in the Armed Forces who are stationed away from home now have access to a new online platform that makes voting significantly easier for them, according to the Missouri secretary of state’s office. The Military and Overseas Voting Access Portal available at, has been launched to give active duty service members the opportunity to securely register to vote and request and receive absentee ballots for all local, state and federal elections.

Missouri: Secretary of State, House Republicans argue over budget, election integrity | KSPR

Missouri’s Secretary of State is making a splash about a drop in the state budget bucket, drained by House Republicans. Jason Kander is upset with the Missouri House of Representatives vote to strip additional funding from his office’s Elections Integrity Unit. Kander started the unit last year after he was sworn in to office. “I am disappointed that Republicans in the Missouri House of Representatives are less interested in protecting the integrity of our elections than I am. I started the Elections Integrity Unit to investigate both voter fraud and voter access issues,” said Kander. The Republican-led house approved an amendment on March 25 to remove $79,900 from the budget outlined in House Bill 2012. The bill appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of statewide elected officials, the Judiciary, Office of the State Public Defender, and General Assembly. That budget includes the Secretary of State’s office, and the $79,900 Kander requested for hiring two new full-time employees (FTEs) for the Elections Integrity Unit.

Editorials: Cheap GOP tactics to undermine voting in Missouri | Kansas City Star

Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly are mounting a two-pronged effort to make voting more difficult for certain citizens, who are most likely to be elderly, low-income, students or minorities. They’re not even subtle about it. On one front, the annual effort to require voters to produce government-issued photo identification at the polls is moving quickly. If the Senate votes in favor, a resolution seeking a constitutional amendment requiring photo identification will be headed for the November ballot. A separate effort, endorsed Wednesday by the House, is a pre-emptive strike against a citizen-initiated ballot proposal to finally get early voting in Missouri. In a show of pettiness, the House budget even deletes $79,900 in funding for a special unit of the secretary of state’s office that investigates allegations of election improprieties. The elections integrity unit is a more effective and less expensive way to ensure that elections work well than a cumbersome voter ID law. Created by Secretary of State Jason Kander, it follows up on complaints and suspected problems. The intent is not only to look out for the slim prospect that an ineligible citizen may try to cast a ballot, but to make sure that the process of voting works well for citizens who are eligible.

Missouri: Secretary of state pushing for OK for early voting | The Joplin Globe

Secretary of State Jason Kander said last week he still is hopeful that the Missouri General Assembly will consider changes in state election law that he believes would make it easier for residents to make their choices at election time. Kander for the past two sessions has lobbied for passage of measures based on recommendations from a bipartisan election commission he named soon after taking office as the state’s chief election official. Among other things, the commission recommended that the state enact an advance, or early voting, system and no-excuse absentee balloting by mail, to provide more opportunities for voters who may not be able to make it to the polls.

Missouri: Photo ID rule for voters moves closer to Missouri ballot | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The question of whether voters should have to carry a photo ID to the polls could be decided on the ballot in 2014. The Missouri House on Thursday approved measures to require photo identification, but the changes to the state’s constitution require approval by voters. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said he would like to put the issue to a vote of the people. Proponents of a requirement that voters present a photo ID or cast a provisional ballot argue it will increase the integrity of the election process. Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, sponsored the constitutional amendment. “We deserve the protection of photo identification at the moment the vote is cast,” Cox said. But opponents point out there has not been a documented case of voter impersonation fraud in Missouri in years.

Missouri: House endorses voter photo ID requirement | Associated Press

Missouri House Republicans are trying again to enact legislation that would require voters to show photo identification before casting ballots, and they’re hoping the courts or the Democratic governor don’t stand in the way this time. The House gave first-round approval to measures Tuesday that could lead to a voter photo ID requirement. Previous attempts have stalled in the Senate, been vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon or blocked by judges. As they have in the past, Republican supporters argued Tuesday that a photo ID requirement would protect the integrity of elections and prevent fraud at the ballot box. “Unfortunately it is a reality in life and in modern America that there is voter fraud,” said one of the measure’s sponsors, Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia.

Missouri: Report: Voter-ID bill could disenfranchise 220,000 | MSNBC

A proposed voter ID bill in Missouri could disenfranchise 220,000 registered voters, according to an impact report released on Tuesday by Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. The report notes that passing House Bill 1073, which introduces new limitations on acceptable types of voter identification, would make Missouri’s voter laws some of the strictest in the country, alongside Indiana and Texas. To pass the bill, the state would first have to change their constitution.  “Our state has one of the strongest voting rights provisions in the constitution anywhere in the country,” Kander explained on Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry. “The Republican strategy here is to amend our state constitution to weaken the voting rights provision and then pass the most extreme version of this kind of law in the country.”

Missouri: State likely to pass voter ID bill this year | Washington Post

Missouri could become the latest state to institute new rules requiring voters to show identification at the polls under a measure being considered by the state Senate. And after earlier versions were struck down by the state Supreme Court, Republicans believe they have fixed provisions to which the court objected. The new version of the law, which was subject to a hearing earlier this week in the state Senate, would allow voters without proper identification to receive new IDs without cost. Voters who can’t afford an identification and voters born before 1941 would be able to cast a provisional ballot under the new legislation. That the bill is originating in the Senate is significant, observers said, because the upper chamber has been the hurdle in recent years. The state House has passed voter identification legislation in each of the last seven years, but those bills have all died in the Senate.

Missouri: Senate considers voter identification laws again | Associated Press

A Missouri Senate panel heard legislation Monday that would require voters to show photo identification at polling places amid warnings from the state’s top election official that 220,000 registered voters would no longer be able to cast ballots if the measure passes. Similar measures have been passed in other states, but they have faced legal challenges. And Missouri’s previous efforts have failed in the courts. The measure’s sponsor told the Senate Elections Committee that Missouri needs to require voters to show a government-issued ID to preserve the integrity of state elections. “We need to make sure everyone’s vote counts. It should be one person, one vote and without an ID requirement we can’t make that happen,” said sponsoring Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit. Opponents contend there’s no evidence of massive voter fraud and that such measures disenfranchise voters.

Missouri: Online Voter Registration in Missouri | Northwest Missourian

As the midterm elections loom closer and closer, voter registration becomes increasingly important. Online voter registration is a recent concept in Missouri after going into effect December 20th. It was successfully pushed by Secretary of State Jason Kander in an effort to boost turnout rates, but there are some that feel it can cause issues. Beth Walker, the Nodaway County clerk and election authority, feels the idea may skew the numbers of voter turnout. “So many people register… but they are not wanting to go to the polls,” Walker said. “People are going to have to believe that their vote matters.” Another question that has been brought up is if online registration will lead to online voting. “There is a high possibility that we could see electronic voting in the near future,” Walker said. “This is in part because we have created a society to make everything easy.”

Missouri: Another legislative session, and still no action on early voting | Kansas City Star

The 2013 session has come and gone, and Missouri still has no law allowing advance voting. According to one 2012 tally, 32 of the 50 states have a system that allows voters to cast ballots prior to Election Day. Kansas is one of those 32 states. But not Missouri, although both Democratic and Republican secretaries of state, who serve as the state’s chief elections officer, have pushed for it in the last decade.

Missouri: Secretary of State Claims Voter ID Bill One of Nation’s Strictest | Yahoo! News

new seven-page report issued by Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander labels two voter ID bills as some of the strictest in the nation if they pass. Only Indiana would compare to Missouri’s voter IDlaw if the GOP-led General Assembly passes and approves the bill. The Huffington Post interviewed Kander Friday. The Democrat said even though he objects to law, he would follow its guidelines. House Bills 48 and 216 would limit the types of identification shown at polling places to just five types, all of which require a photograph to identify the person. A non-expired Missouri driver’s license, non-driver’s identification, U.S. passport, military ID or an official ID from Missouri or the federal government with a name, photo and expiration date would be allowed. The bills eschew all forms of non-photo ID currently allowed in Missouri. There are a dozen forms of identification allowed to be brought to the polls now, including a student ID, voter ID card and utility bills.