Ashcroft continues Voter ID tour, touts successful election in St. Louis

  

ASHLAND, Mo. – Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wants Show-Me State voters to know one simple message when it comes to the new photo ID law:

“If you’re a registered voter, you will be able to vote.”

Missouri’s voter-approved photo voter ID law went into effect June 1st, and now Ashcroft is traveling the state to publicize the new law and provide clarification about any questions the public may have.

Ashcroft made stops in Ashland and California on Wednesday, talking to Missouri voters about the new law, its implementation, and answering questions just one day after the state’s voting law was put to the test in St. Louis. Also in attendance at the event was Rep. Chuck Bayse, Rep. Dean Plocher, and Sara Walsh, the Republican candidate for the Missouri House seat for District 50.

Voters in St. Louis hit the polls on Tuesday to elect the person who would take over the former seat of the new St. Louis mayor, Lyda Krewson.

Ashcroft said Tuesday’s election went off with no issues, with no registered voters being turned away, and two people using provisional ballots.

“Everyone that went to vote was able to vote,” Ashcroft told those in attendance.

As Ashcroft told the people present at Wednesday’s event in Ashland, which roughly two dozen attended, Missourians have three options as registered voters as to how they comply with the new photo voter ID law, HB 1631.

Those options are:

• Option 1: Provide a Missouri issued Driver or Non-Driver License, U.S. Passport, or Military ID

• Option 2: Provide a secondary form of identification, such as a paycheck or bank statement and sign a statement confirming their identity

• Option 3: If the voter has no form of identification, but is a registered voter, they may cast a provisional ballot

Still, many had questions about the law and whether it was necessary, or even changed anything.

Others attempted to grill the Secretary of State on the issue of voter rights and disenfranchising voters, with one member of the audience telling Ashcroft that his party is “attacking voter rights across the country” and saying that 300,000 voters were without a government-issued photo ID.

Ashcroft replied that even if that number were a million, they would still be able to vote, as the provisions allow every registered voter to cast a ballot. He explained that even an expired driver’s license or passport could work since it was a government-issued ID that showed an identity.

Wednesday’s stops are just two of the dozens of planned visits across the state, with Ashcroft making four stops on Thursday in southwest Missouri and more in the coming weeks.

You can find a list of all of the stops, both past and upcoming, at the Secretary of State’s website.

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.