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NAACP and League of Women Voters sues over voter ID laws


The NAACP and the Missouri League of Women Voters made their case to a judge Friday that the state's new voter ID law should be blocked.

According to those organizations, the law prevents disadvantaged people from voting. The groups have raised specific concerns about provisional ballots.

Provisional ballots allow people to fill out a ballot even though they may be unsure about their voting eligibility. This could include things like spelling errors on IDs or issues with their signatures.

Solicitor General of Missouri John Sauer claimed the two groups are just guessing this may be an issue, and they are speculating that people could be denied access to vote.

"Their prediction is a poll worker might disregard the law and still prevent her vote. That is speculation. That is speculation at its finest and that is insufficient to establish standing to bring these claims," Sauer said.

The two organizations stressed the potential of poll workers denying votes and stated there are residents who are eligible to vote who may not be able to acquire the proper documentation to do so.

ACLU lawyer Tony Rothert is representing the case and described multiple instances where voter eligibility may be impeded.

"For a family of five, living on $30,000 a year, a $20 fee is not nothing," Rothert said. "People with physical disabilities, relying on public transportation, will not be able to easily go to the DMV like you or I may be able to."

The Missouri Secretary of State's Office said it cannot comment on the specifics of the lawsuit due to pending litigation. The office will continue to follow the law as it prepares for the November election, a spokesperson said.  

The judge presiding over the case gave the state and the organizations seven days to submit their proposed orders for the judge to review. A decision on whether to dismiss or continue with the trial is not expected until early October.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

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Ethan Heinz


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