Strict Photo ID: LWVMO joined the Missouri NAACP in challenging provisions of HB1878 that require a non-expired, government-issued photo ID to vote. Judge Jon Beetem will issue a decision on the photo ID restrictions after a November 2023 hearing.
“The right to vote is guaranteed by the Missouri Constitution and should not be needlessly burdensome,” says LWVMO President Marilyn McLeod. “There’s no evidence of intentional voter impersonation and the new photo ID law creates a heavy burden for eligible Missouri voters who lack an unexpired government-issued photo ID.
The Missouri Supreme Court previously concluded that a strict photo ID requirement violates the Missouri Constitution. In the 2020 Priorities USA case, the court struck the affidavit requirement for non-photo ID options to vote and kept the non-photo ID voting options intact. The League opposes unnecessary, unconstitutional and burdensome ID restrictions that would undermine Missourians right to vote. In the 2022 legislative session, we opposed HB 334, 738, 1065 and SB 282 that would all undermine the opportunity for many citizens to vote. Because of this concern we sent multiple letters to the President Pro Tem of the Senate asking for the data on the nature and extent of the problems these bills would prevent.
Pro-Voter Legislation: We joined the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, Missouri School for the Blind, American Civil Liberties of Missouri and Missouri NEA in submitting written testimony of support of bills to require that blind and visually impaired voters be able to use a Help American Vote Act compliant machine at state and local elections as well as federal elections. The costs for programming these machines would be paid from monies in a federal grant specifically for election improvement.
For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1: In March 2021, the U.S. House again passed the For the People Act. The Senate held a hearing on its version of this pro-voter legislation on March 24. As a member of the 170+ coalition of organizations supporting this Act, we joined the "We Demand Democracy" April 5-9 Week of Action with a letter writing campaign.
Safe Voting: At its December 2020 committee meeting, the Early Voting Committee voted to change its name from Early Voting to Voter Access. This change was made to allow for the incorporation into our portfolio of mail-in voting, absentee voting, same-day registration and on-line registration as we became more expansive in our goal of promoting our nation’s founding principle of “one person, one vote.” The legislature passed and governor signed SB631 to make it safer for people to vote in 2020 elections. The bill allowed persons 65 and older with certain preexisting health conditions to use absentee ballots that did not have to be notarized. Others worried about COVID-19 could use new “mail in ballots” that had to be notarized. Our court challenge of the notary requirement was not successful. The League answered hundreds of questions from confused voters and worked with the Election Protection coalition to provide free notary services. The safe voting provisions expired at the end of 2020. In response to our request for an extension, the Governor directed our inquiry to the Secretary of State who did not respond
Contact Name: Joan Hubbard
Email: VoterAccess [at] lwvstl.org