JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The procedures for casting a ballot in November are up in the air as the state asks for an emergency stay on a judge’s decision blocking portions of Missouri’s voter identification law.
The Attorney General’s Office filed an appeal on Wednesday of Cole County Judge Richard Callahan’s decision overturning the requirement for voters who don’t present a photo ID to sign an affidavit and filed on Thursday for an emergency stay to the ruling.
The current affidavit that voters with an alternative form of accepted ID are asked to sign is contradictory and misleading, according to Callahan.
“The affidavit plainly requires the voter to swear that they do not possess a form of personal identification approved for voting while simultaneously presenting to the election authority a form of personal identification that is approved,” Callahan wrote in his decision.
“The judge’s decision has injected mass confusion into the voting process just weeks before an important election – an action the courts historically and purposely have not taken. To be clear, many of Missouri’s 116 local election authorities have already trained poll workers – as part of ID Option 2 – to require voters to sign a statement,” said Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. “The judge’s decision creates confusion for voters as well as local election authorities. Remember, if you’re registered to vote, you can vote!”
Ashcroft previously noted that Callahan’s decision directs the state not to use the statement but was not clear if local election authorities — those who enforce the statement requirement — were bound by the decision.
In his ruling Callahan also ordered the Secretary of State’s Office to cease disturbing materials that could “mislead” voters to believing photo identification is required to cast a ballot.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.