MISSOURI VOTER ID LAW (VOTER SUPPRESSION) IN EFFECT TODAY – JUNE 1

Dred Scott Memorial Statute at the Old Court House in St. Louis

We knew it was coming and so did Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who campaigned for it heavily last year.

He has had over 5 months to tell us how it will work in the upcoming elections and educate voters throughout the state, as mandated in the law.  But the MO GOP majority failed to adequately fund Voter ID in the budget they passed last month but does that surprise you?  After full court pressure from the statewide Missouri Voter Protection Coalition – they decided YESTERDAY perhaps they should start letting you in on their plans.

Do YOU know how it’s supposed to work?  Do YOU know if you can still legally vote in Missouri?

Yesterday the non-partisan Missouri Voter Protection Coalition held several media events throughout the state with (excellent media coverage) exposing these same questions.  SEE VIDEOS OF KANSAS CITY, ST. LOUIS AND MID-MISSOURI EVENTS.

THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION PRESS STATEMENT which includes PROGRESSWOMEN: In Events Across State, Missouri Voter Protection Coalition Denounces Ashcroft’s Attack on Right to Vote, Mismanagement of Photo ID Law

The Secretary of State’s office had staff filming at each media event – and says WE are the ones confusing voters & spreading misinformation.  AGREE?

The Kansas City Star Editorial this morning said it best:

“We dare you: Go out and ask 10 Missourians of voting age if they know about the state’s new voter ID law. Here’s betting that seven of them will give you a blank stare.  In Missouri, if you don’t have an ID with you, you can still vote. But legal documents would have to be signed “under penalty of perjury” and, possibly, your photograph would be taken.

In other words, there are things to know about this new law. That’s exactly why this editorial board and dozens of groups around the state, including some who protested in downtown Kansas City Wednesday, opposed voter ID. Voting is a right. Election officials should find ways to make it easier, not tougher. This new law mucks up the works and injects confusion into the electorate. That could discourage voters from showing up on election days.”
St. Louis Public Radio: “A day before Missouri’s new voter ID law takes effect, a coalition of civil rights groups and Democratic politicians warned Wednesday that the law could disenfranchise minority voters and older people. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, whose office oversees elections, scoffed at the concerns, arguing that “if you’re a registered voter, you’ll be able to vote.”
The St. Louis American:  “Denise Lieberman, coordinator of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, said that the organization’s primary request was that Ashcroft “take further steps to ensure that no valid voter is denied their right to cast a ballot, and issue definitive guidance that will help local authorities train poll workers, and embark on a robust public education effort. The ID law, Lieberman said, is not only costly, but also “a descendant of Dred Scott and our nation’s legacy of exclusion.”

WHAT IS TRUE ACCORDING TO VOTER ID LAW:

  • In order to cast a vote in person, you must show a government-issued non-expired Photo ID (drivers license, non-drivers license, U.S. passport or military ID).
  • If you don’t have one, you must sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury & have a possible photograph taken to receive a ballot. JUST A TAD SCARY, RIGHT?  THE SOS STAFF TOLD US YESTERDAY EVERYONE CAN STILL VOTE.  REALLY???  EACH ELECTION WITHOUT A VOTER ID?  REALLY???
  • The state is required to pay for all documents needed to obtain a state-issued Photo ID AND educate every single voter on the new rules.

WHAT THE MISSOURI SECRETARY STATE IS NOT TELLING YOU:

  • They have NO mechanism set up to pay for the documents required OR how you can vote if your birth certificate doesn’t even exist or is unaccurate.
  • They have NOT fully funded (BY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS) the law’s mandate that the SOS must educate YOU – the voter – how this works.
  • They have NOT trained poll workers or even every country clerks or election boards how VOTER ID is supposed to work.
  • This is PART of a uniform strategy by the GOP around the country to make it harder for certain people to vote —elderly, disabled, transgender community, low income non-driving voters, women, out of state college students —-particularly, targeted minorities who tend to vote Democratic.
  • The GOP majority in the state legislature can change the Voter ID law whenever they want – yes, siree, anytime.
  • Confused if you can still vote?  Then you’re most likely NOT even going to show up.

CONFUSING?  COSTLY?  CUTS PEOPLE OUT FROM VOTING?  

There is absolutely no reason to change the rules of voting except that they can.  Several weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear North Carolina’s Voter ID case – letting a lower court ruling stand that North Carolina intentionally targeted African-American voters & their Voter ID law was unconstitutional.  There has been NO voter impersonation fraud – no dead people voting – not one case in Missouri which they insist VOTER ID prevents.  But about 200,000 current registered voters who have been voting JUST FINE SO FAR, do not have or need and may not be able to get – a government-issued VOTER ID.

VOTING should be easier, not coming up with NEW sets of rules that many people cannot follow – through no fault of their own.

GET READY FOR UPCOMING 2017 SPECIAL ELECTIONS

  • Tuesday, July 11 – St. Louis City Special Election to fill Mayor Lyda Krewson’s former Alderman seat
  • Tuesday, August 8 – Columbia Area to fill open State Representative Seat #50
  • Tuesday, August 8 – Sedalia Area (Mid-Missouri) to fill open State Senate Seat #28

MID-MISSOURI: On the steps of the Saline County Courthouse in Marshall, Missouri with Clyde Williams (left), president of the Mar-Saline branch of the NAACP.

ST LOUIS: (top) Daniel Gould with Missouri Faith Voices on the steps of the Old Court House downtown and (bottom) State Representatives Stacey Newman (D-Richmond Heights) and Joe Adams (D-University City), members of House Elections Committee- all denouncing the new VOTER ID law.

State Rep. Stacey Newman