JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
A change of judge was granted Friday afternoon in the lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters and NAACP against a new Missouri law requiring voter ID will be heard in Cole County.
A hearing on whether to pause the law until the court can make a decision is scheduled for Sept. 23 in Cole County.
The two organizations initially filed separately but asked the court to combine their lawsuits. The organizations are now asking to speed up the lawsuit in the hopes of blocking parts of the law before the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
One of the lawyers for the League of Women Voters and NAACP, Denise Lieberman, said in a news release that the organizations oppose the law because it creates barriers for disadvantaged people to vote.
"The ID restrictions stand to burden thousands of Missouri voters who do not have or will face difficulty getting the limited ID required to cast a regular ballot - disproportionately voters of color, seniors, voters with disabilities, young voters, and low-wage workers," Leiberman said. "We should be working to reduce barriers to participation for these communities, not make it harder to vote.”
Leiberman said the League of Women Voters, Missouri NAACP and the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition are willing to help anyone with concerns. To report any problems with voting or get help, Lieberman says to call their hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says no one should be worried about not being able to vote.
"If you're registered, you can vote, and use the provisional ballots as necessary," Ashcroft said. "It is not going to make Missouri be like other states. We're still going to know who won. We're still going to be tabulating those votes, you know, 10 or 11 o'clock that night."
A provision in the law says that if one part is overturned then the whole law will be dismissed. That means if the lawsuit goes in favor of the League of Women Voters and NAACP, it may also eliminate parts of the law the groups liked, such as the part that creates no-excuse absentee voting.