A trial over Missouri’s law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls is set to begin today.

The lawsuit was filed by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters. It targets the state’s latest version of the photo ID requirement that became law last year. Photo ID laws passed in 2006 and in 2018 were struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court.

Acceptable forms of identification include a non-expired Missouri driver’s or non-driver’s license, a non-expired military or veteran’s ID, or a non-expired U.S. passport. Someone who doesn’t bring photo identification to the polls can cast a provisional ballot but must return later with a photo ID in order for the ballot to be counted. The provisional ballot would also be counted if the voter’s signature on that ballot matches the signature on their voter registration card. That determination is made by each precinct’s election authority.

The plaintiffs argue that Missouri’s photo ID requirements will disenfranchise minorities, the elderly, and disabled. Supporters of the requirement maintain that photo identification is needed for renting a car or buying alcohol and should be required for voting as well. They also argue that it would help combat voter impersonation fraud.

The trial begins this morning at 9:00 a.m. in Jefferson City and will be heard by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem.

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