Voting Rights

What You Need To Know About New Voter ID Law

Click here to find answers to questions about the new law

Law Suit Filed To Temporarily Halt MO Voter ID Law

June 8, 2107

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project filed suit Thursday against Missouri over its new voter ID law. The suit claims the state failed to provide mandated funding for voter education, free voter IDs and birth certificates and training of poll workers.   Read more here

MO Secretary of State Ashcroft Says Opponents of Voter ID Law Are Running a “Misinformation Campaign”

Women’s Voices is a member of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition.   The Coalition is concerned that not enough is being done to educate voters about the new photo ID law that went into effect June 1.     See article here

As Missouri photo ID voting law goes into effect, opponents equate it to ‘Jim Crow”

St. Louis voters will be among the first to go to the polls under a new statewide photo-identification voting law, during a special election for an aldermanic seat in July.  But Missouri’s top election official is acknowledging the state won’t be ready to provide free IDs to all in that election who may need them.  Read more

Several Women’s Voices members attended a news conference May 31 at the Old Courthouse to denounce the new law and call for clear explanations of how it will be implemented.  Michele Steinberg, a member of our Advocacy Committee, stated  “Women’s Voices is proud to stand with our fellow coalition partners in supporting Missourians right to vote without fear, confusion or intimidation.  We urge Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to issue crucial guidance to both election officials and voters about how the new voter ID law will be implemented.  Both Secretary Ashcroft and Governor Greitens must stand by their promise that no voter will be turned away and ensure every Missourian has access to their fundamental right to vote.”

Coalition Letter to Ashcroft:  Stop Endangering Voters’ Access to Ballot 

Women’s Voices was one of nearly 40 organizations that sent a letter to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft demanding that he offer clarity for elections officials who are tasked with enforcing Missouri’s controversial photo ID law, which will go into effect on June 1.

After the law was put in place, Ashcroft and Governor Greitens promised the voters of Missouri that the new process and requirements would not stop people from voting. However, there are ambiguities in the law that could spell disaster for election officials and voters if Ashcroft, the state’s top elections official, does not offer additional guidance.  Read more

 

Rules for Photo ID Law Confusing: Call on Secretary of State to Explain

The West County Community Action Network (WE CAN) sent the letter below to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft; it was also published March 8 in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Please call or e-mail Secretary Ashcroft (573) 751-4015 info@sos.mo.gov.  Also, send your own letter-to-the-editor at  letters@post-dispatch.com

“We, the undersigned, are part of the West County Community Action Network (WE CAN) – a coalition of engaged, concerned citizens who live and work in West County, St. Louis. Members of our Voting Rights team have repeatedly contacted the Missouri Sec. of State’s office in the last several weeks, asking Secretary of State Ashcroft to clarify several issues surrounding the new photo ID law, HB 1631, which is set to take effect on June 1st, 2017.  Our concerns are many and include the law’s interpretation and implementation, especially the training, communication, rollout and oversight of the law.

As things currently stand, the new photo ID rules are unclear and confusing, which could lead to the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of registered Missouri voters. It is imperative that the necessary funding and personnel be allocated effectively to engage and educate Missouri voters about these impending rule changes.  Unfortunately, Secretary of State Ashcroft has offered only high-level guidance about this law’s eventual implementation, leaving many to question how their particular circumstances may impact their ability to obtain photo IDs in order to vote.

Equally important will be the role the Dept. of Revenue plays in this endeavor, given that Missouri voters seeking photo IDs will need to obtain them at a local Dept. of Motor Vehicle office. We all know that local DMVs are busy and have limited hours of operation (no evening hours, limited Saturday hours, and no Sunday hours).  However, there has been almost no guidance from the Missouri DOR office about how they will accommodate registered voters seeking photo IDs whose family or work lives make it difficult to get to the DMV or spend significant amounts of time there, for instance, individuals who hold multiple jobs and/or use public transportation.

All in all, if the intent of photo ID rules is to protect the integrity of the voting process, then it’s only fair that the system for obtaining these photo IDs works in favor of all voters. But we’re nowhere close to that right now.”

Sincerely,

The West County Community Action Network (WE CAN)

Email:                     wecanstl@gmail.com

Twitter:                 @WE_CAN_STL

Facebook:              www.facebook.com/wecanstl

 

Missourians No Longer have Right to Vote Protected in State’s Constitution

The passage of Amendment 6 on November 8, 2016 is unprecedented as the first effort in the nation to strip a constitutionally protected right to vote from a state constitution.

Missouri now joins the ranks of 17 other states that have put restrictions on voting since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. The 2016 presidential elections were the first in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act in place.

“The tactics of voter suppression laws have changed since the days of literacy tests and poll taxes, but the outcome of making it harder for people to vote remains the same,” said Denise Lieberman, Advancement Project Senior Attorney and coordinator of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition.  Click here for more