Missouri Supreme Court Blocks Key Part of Voter Photo ID Law

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On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court permanently blocked a central portion of a voter identification law that it said had required a "misleading" and "contradictory" sworn statement from people lacking a photo ID. The 5-2 ruling upholds a decision by a lower court judge, who had blocked the affidavit requirement from being used in the 2018 general election. It has remained on hold since then.

Missouri's law allowed voters who lack a valid government-issued photo identification to cast a regular ballot if they presented another form of ID, such as a bank statement, and signed a sworn statement affirming their identity. The sworn statement also included a section acknowledging that they didn't have an approved ID for voting. The law further stated that voters who lack a photo ID could cast a provisional ballot, which would count later if they returned with a photo ID or their signatures matched the ones on file with election authorities.

The Supreme Court said the sworn statement was inaccurate because it required people to state that they didn't possess a valid form of ID for voting, while simultaneously requiring them to show a non-photo ID that would allow them to vote. The voter identification law was passed by the General Assembly in 2016. The state law was accompanied by a constitutional amendment that authorized the implementation of a photo ID law.

January 24, 2020 - 11:48am
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