The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


The nation's clearinghouse for election audit information!


ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Missouri's Photo ID Voting Law PDF  | Print |  Email
By ACLU Press Release   
August 18, 2006
Law Violates Missouri Constitution and Disenfranchises Thousands of Missouri Voters

Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri and the ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a lawsuit in Cole County Circuit Court challenging a new law that requires Missouri's voters to present state-issued photo identification cards at the polls in order to be eligible to vote.

"Our overall concern is that the new law will exclude people who want to vote, who deserve to vote, and are qualified to vote," said Brett Shirk, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. "The Supreme Court has held that a state cannot value one person's vote over another and, unfortunately, that is exactly what this law will do."

According to ACLU officials, the voter identification law is unconstitutional because it will place unreasonable financial burdens on taxpayers. Because of the cost, thousands of Missouri voters will be unable to secure the extensive documentation needed to qualify for the newly required ID card.

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed the Photo ID bill into law June 14, 2006, over the objection of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. Carnahan's office informed Blunt that it would be financially impossible to implement the proposed changes in time to preserve the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of Missouri voters. In a letter to the Governor, Carnahan asked Blunt to call a special session of the state legislature to allocate funds to ensure that voting rights were preserved. Governor Blunt refused Carnahan's request and signed the law.

The ACLU's lawsuit was filed against the State of Missouri and named as plaintiffsnames as plaintiffs Jackson County Missouri, Jackson County Executive Kathryn J. Shields, the City of St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay, and St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.

The lawsuit claims the Voter ID law violates the section of the Missouri Constitution known as the "Hancock Amendment," which provides that "the state is prohibited from requiring any new or expanded activities by counties and other political subdivisions without full state financing." The Amendment also provides that "a new activity or service ... shall not be required by the General Assembly or any state agency of counties or other political subdivisions, unless a state appropriation is made and dispersed to pay the county or other political subdivision for any increased cost."

The lawsuit states that Missouri's Photo ID law will require Jackson County and the city of St. Louis to provide activities, services and expenditures of general revenue funds without providing the appropriations the Hancock Amendment requires.

"If the law is unenforceable in some counties, but not in others, the voter identification standards will be lower in those counties," Shirk said. "This means that some citizens will be allowed to vote while other similarly situated citizens are forced to file provisional ballots that may not be counted. Many voters will not be allowed to vote at all."

"This is not a partisan lawsuit," Shirk added. "We are simply trying to preserve the voting rights of Missouri citizens. It is regrettable that a lawsuit had to be filed, but the right to vote is an essential ingredient to preserving a democratically elected government in our state."
Comment on This Article
You must login to leave comments...
Other Visitors Comments
You must login to see comments...
< Prev   Next >
2005-06-02 10:55:21Joan Krawitz, Executive DirectorVoteTrustUSA National Leadership Workshop & Strategy Session for e-Voting Reform Leaders
2005-08-21 19:16:37Bo Lipari, New Yorkers for Verified VotingCounty-Level Strategies for Paper Ballot/Optical Scan Adoption
2005-08-29 14:05:12VoteTrustUSAVoteTrustUSA Statement of Principles
2005-09-07 13:46:53Green Institute, Liberty Tree Foundation, and Fairvote Announce Panel on the Crisis of U.S. Election
2005-10-31 00:18:52Marybeth Kuznik, VotePANot Just a Bunch of Little Old Ladies: The Importance of Becoming a Pollworker
2005-11-28 13:51:16Pat Clark, The Center for Civic Participation and Everybody VOTEPennsylvania: Activists work with Allegheny County on Voting Machine Evaluation Process
2005-12-15 10:16:23Media Release from ACORNACORN Defeats Anti-Voter Legal Attacks
2005-12-24 15:44:50Susan Pynchon, Executive Director, Florida Fair Elections CoalitionHoliday Poem for Voter Activists
2005-12-29 15:59:05Joan Krawitz, Executive Director, VoteTrustUSAAction Alert: Say No To Prohibited Software in Voting Machines!
2005-12-30 14:00:11VoteTrustUSAOpen Letter to the Election Assistance Commission
2006-01-12 15:25:45Verified Voting FoundationVerified Voting Announces New President and CEO
2006-01-16 13:53:06Tara Blomquist, NC Coalition for Verified VotingThe Story of North Carolina's Fight for Voter Verified Elections
2006-01-30 17:11:02Kindra MuntzSarasota Alliance for Fair ElectionsFlorida: County Petition Drive For Verifiable Elections
2006-02-23 16:34:58VoteTrustUSAI Count Coalition Announces DC Lobby Days In Support of HR 550
2006-04-25 17:55:50John Gideon, and VoteTrustUSAFile a HAVA Complaint
2006-04-25 22:26:06Sean Flaherty, Iowans for Voting IntegrityReport on VoteTrustUSA Workshop
2006-05-06 09:46:09Pamela Haengel, President, Voting Integrity Alliance, Tampa BayOne Voice. One Vote. (An Ode to the Struggle)
2006-06-16 00:00:00VoteTrustUSAWatch VoteTrustUSA on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight
2006-07-30 13:50:59Mary Howe KiralyDo Americans Get the Election System We Deserve?
2006-09-23 14:47:19Pollworkers for DemocracyOver 1,400 Sign Up For New "Pollworkers For Democracy" Project In First Week
2006-10-19 18:13:02Pollworkers for Democracy Training
2006-10-25 11:55:01Election Protection CoalitionWatching the Vote 2006
2006-12-18 10:59:19Kindra Muntz, Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections1,000 Rally for Revote in Sarasota County FL-13 Race
2007-11-07 15:10:22Pamela Smith, Verified Voting FoundationElection Audit Summit Brings Together Statisticians, Election Officials, and Advocates