In a 5-2 ruling today, the Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling about the state requiring a photo ID at the polls. The high court says a Cole County Court was right to strike down a state requirement making voters without a photo ID sign a statement swearing they are who they say they are.
In 2016, voters passed a constitutional amendment, Amendment 6, by a 63 percent margin which allowed the state to make a law requiring voters to identify themselves with IDs that “may” include valid government-issued photo identification. Left-leaning group Priorities USA sued the state arguing the statement language is confusing.
In 2018, Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan called the affidavit language contradictory and misleading and ruled to get rid of it. Today, the Supreme Court agreed.
The judgement also bars the Secretary of State’s office from distributing information saying a photo ID is required to vote.
Senator Jill Schupp, a Democrat from the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur, hopes the ruling will put the longtime Republican voter ID effort to rest.
“I’m delighted that the people’s votes will be protected and that this law was shot down by the Supreme Court. We move forward and we try to protect our elections and try to make sure everybody’s vote counts,” says Schupp. “We have three co-equal branches of government and each of them need to be respected. So, I’m hopefully that the Legislature will understand the Supreme Court’s basis for their judgement and we’ll move forward and allow people to take advantage of their right to vote.”
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican, also responded to the court ruling.
Secretary Ashcroft’s Statement on Mo. Supreme Court Voter ID ruling: https://t.co/pqBdgocXv0 pic.twitter.com/ABLZYqvVuP
— Missouri SOS Office (@MissouriSOS) January 14, 2020
Judges Brent Powell and Zel Fischer were the dissenting votes.
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