Voter ID Law Challenged in Federal Court
There is already a lawsuit in state court, but opponents filed suit Wednesday in federal court. Plaintiffs include the NAACP, Grass Roots Organizing and Columbia resident Bethany Dean. Defendants include Gov. Blunt, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Trish Vincent, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, and Wendy Noren, Boone County clerk.
Dean, who attends Stephens College, is from the state of California. She and other plaintiffs said getting a birth certificate from another state can be enough of an obstacle to stop some people from voting.
"This is going to disenfranchise a number of voters across the state of Missouri," said Rob Berry of the Missouri Citizen Education Fund. "Approximately 24,000 Missourians may not be able to vote in November."
Added Mary Ratliff, president of the Missouri NAACP, "Some people's birth certificates have been totally misplaced. Some people are adopted, don't know where their birth certificates are. There's a lot of reasons that you can't get a birth certificate."
Gov. Blunt says the new photo ID law will increase voter confidence in Missouri elections. He also said the state will give a free photo ID to people who cannot afford one. But, critics said that still ignores the cost of ordering documents from other states.