Today, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down the state’s burdensome voter identification law that would have required all Missourians to show a government-issued photo ID, a modern-day poll tax that was also struck down in Georgia and Arizona, both with similar voter ID bills.
“There could not be better news for Missourians as we approach Election Day,” said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “The Missouri Supreme Court was not fooled by the far-fetched claims that this bill would prevent fraud. It was never about fraud; it was always about politics, and about trying to keep certain voters away from the polls by making it more difficult for them to cast a vote. The court sided with the voters and against the schemes of partisan politicians seeking advantage.”
An estimated 240,000 registered Missouri voters lack the proper photo identification required to vote under the voter identification law, according to calculations by Missouri’s Secretary of State.
People For the American Way Foundation was part of the legal team in a parallel lawsuit in federal court that was stayed pending the outcome from the Missouri Supreme Court. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit included the NAACP, Grass Roots Organizing, the Missouri Citizen Education Fund, The Whole Person, Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independence, and Southwest Center for Independent Living, Maria Frencher and other individual plaintiffs
“The court has struck a blow for greater access to the ballot box for every voter” said Neas. “The test now will be to ensure that poll workers are adequately trained and informed to prevent confusion at the polls.”