Judge rules in favor of Voter ID law

1 year 8 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, October 09 2018 Oct 9, 2018 Tuesday, October 09, 2018 3:48:00 PM CDT October 09, 2018 in News
By: Steve Lambson, News Content Manager

JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge ruled in favor of Missouri's Voter ID law in an order handed down Tuesday. But he placed some limitations on how the state can inform voters about the requirements.

Priorities USA filed a lawsuit against the law, calling it unconstitutional. The suit went to a bench trial in late September, with closing arguments happening Oct. 1.

The law requires one of three things in order to vote:

  • A Missouri driver or non-driver license, passport or military ID
  • Non-photo identification permitted under the law before the Voter ID law took effect, along with an affidavit the person with the ID is the same one voting
  • Sworn statement the individual is the registered voter, with the caveat the ballot will be counted only if the voter returns with an ID from Option 1 or if the "election authority determines" the voter's signature on the ballot is the same as on file

In his order, Judge Richard Callahan said "with one important exception...the voting scheme adopted by the General Assembly...is within its constitutional prerogative under the Missouri Constitution.

Callahan said, while the affidavit requirement in Option 2 is reasonable, the affidavit provided by the state for Option 2 is "contradictory and misleading."

He also said advertising by the Secretary of State's office informing people about the Option 1 requirements "strongly implied that a photo identification card was required for voting," which isn't the case.

While upholding the law in general, Callahan barred the state from distributing "materials which represent that a photo identification card is required to vote," as well as "materials with the graphic that voters will be asked to show a photo identification card without specifying other forms of identification which voters may also show."

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