© 2023 University of Missouri - KBIA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Missouri secretary of state seeking dismissal of voter ID lawsuit

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 3:30 p.m. with ACLU comment — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against the state’s new voter ID law.

In a statement, Ashcroft said the certified results of the Aug. 8 special elections in two legislative districts showed that "Missouri’s photo voter ID law works.”

The law took effect June 1. Days later, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Advancement Project filed a lawsuit in Cole County on behalf of the Missouri NAACP and the League of Women Voters. 

The suit argued that Ashcroft’s office wasn’t fully funding the implementation of the law, which was to include “mandated funding for voter education, free voter IDs and birth certificates and training of poll workers.”

“When you look at the lawsuit that was brought against us, they never even claimed that it stopped anyone from being able to vote," Ashcroft said. "We’ve had all these elections and we’ve proven that the claims they made were without merit."

The ACLU of Missouri's legal director, Tony Rothert, said in a statement: “Results from a few, low-turnout elections this summer does not mean that the state has done its job of adequately educating voters on the new law, or provided the means for people to get their new IDs. The real threat to electoral integrity is that too many eligible voters don't vote, not that ineligble people are casting votes when they shouldn't."

Missouri is one of 33 states, many with Republican legislatures and governors, to have some sort of voter ID law which has been touted as an effort to prevent voter fraud.

Follow Marshall and Erica on Twitter: @marshallgreport and @ehunzinger

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Erica Hunzinger brings several years of editing experience to the politics and education team. Before landing in St. Louis, Erica spent five years on The Associated Press' Central Region desk, handling a wide variety of topics with special emphasis on state government and agriculture and food supply. She also has been a sports copy editor at The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and an assistant news editor at The News Journal in Delaware. Erica holds a master's degree in humanities from the University of Chicago (poetry) and bachelor's in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. If you can't find her, try looking at Busch Stadium — or any other ball diamond in the region.
Marshall Griffin
St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!). He has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off an old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.