Missouri voter ID law requiring false statement struck down by State Supreme Court

  • 01/24/2020 7:22 am ET Symphony Ragan and Shaan Chagan
10 times "Moscow Mitch" earned his nickname 2


The Supreme Court in Missouri permanently struck down a voter ID law passed by Republicans that required a false statement.

The GOP keeps trying to suppress the minority vote—despite the voting rights guaranteed by the Constitution’s 14th and 15th amendments and the countless voting rights bills since then that have expanded protections.

Here are the details of what the Missouri GOP tried and failed to get away with, plus 9 other times the GOP has suppressed the votes of minorities and others.

1. Missouri Supreme Court for the win..for now

Missouri voter ID law requiring false statement struck down by State Supreme Court 2

Source: Unsplash

The Supreme Court in Missouri permanently struck down a controversial requirement of a 2016 voter ID law. Essentially, voters who lacked ID at the polls were required to sign an affidavit stating they didn’t have a form of personal ID that was approved for voting within the state and were aware they could obtain one for free.

The Supreme Court voted 5-2 to permanently uphold a decision that a previous court judge had made in 2018, deeming the voter requirement “contradictory” and “misleading.”

Voters who did not have a valid government photo ID could provide another form of ID, such as a utility bill, but were required to sign a statement confirming their identity. Included in the statement was a requirement to acknowledge that they did not possess an approved form of state ID, but that they were made aware the state could provide one for free.

The Missouri State Supreme Court deemed this statement inconsistent due to its requirement that the voter state they did not possess a valid ID while also having to provide a valid form of ID; The action in itself being contradictory.

2. North Carolina judge blocks voter ID law

Missouri voter ID law requiring false statement struck down by State Supreme Court 3

Source / Unsplash

A temporary block was placed on a new voter ID law in North Carolina that would require voters to provide photo identification.

The decision derived from a case filed by the NAACP. They argued that the new voter law would unfairly affect voting capabilities of black and Latino voters. Similar to Missouri, those for the bill argued that there would be free IDs provided to those who need them…but the NAACP states that it’s still discriminatory.

Currently, the GOP is seeking to have Attorney General Josh Stein appeal the ruling.

3. Gerrymandering NC: Pulling out all the maps

Missouri voter ID law requiring false statement struck down by State Supreme Court 4

Source / Unsplash

In North Carolina, the GOP held the majority in the General Assembly. But since there were two big developments, new maps, and a lawsuit, a few things have tipped in the Democrats favor.

The lawsuit brought by Eric Holder’s group was seeking to end gerrymandering. They challenged maps that the republican state legislature had drawn in 2017, arguing that it was illegal.

Three judges ruled in favor of Holder and new maps will need to be redrawn before the 2020 election.

4. Early voting restored

Voters winning in NC with new congressional maps and a lawsuit to restore early voting

Source: Screenshot/Charlotte Observer

Voters landed another win in North Carolina with the restoration of early Saturday voting. The Democrats from both the state and national level had filed a suit in Wake County asking the court to declare the Senate Bill 325 unconstitutional.

The bill had been passed in 2018 and it required early voting sites to remain open from 7 am to 7 pm which was too costly for many counties. Many locations didn’t open early at all because of this new rule.

Saturday before election day is when nearly 7% of the early votes are cast in the state. According to the Charlotte Observer, early Saturday voting was popular “among key parts of the Democratic coalition-African American voters and young voters.”

5. Auto-registration for the win in Georgia

Georgia sees boom in young, nonwhite new voters

Screenshot / Twitter

Georgia continues to be involved in several voter scandals. However, a new law that recently passed automatically registers voters with driver licenses which lead to over 300,000 people being added to the rolls—a high percentage of them young and non-white.

Democrats in the state are hopeful that the influx of people on the rolls will help them win upcoming elections because of the newly added demographic usually being in their favor.

They will still face an uphill battle, however. Georgia has voted red since 2006.

6. Mitch McConnell tries to block the minority vote

Moscow Mitch screws Kentucky military families in favor of Trump's border wall vanity project 1
The Democratic party in Kentucky won a court battle to restore nearly 200,000 voters to regular voting rolls after they were forced off by the GOP.

The state Board of Elections had placed 175,000 voters on an “inactive list” this year. The Democrats argued that it made it harder for citizens to vote.

This especially creates a headache for Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell who is facing accusations that he is doing Moscow’s bidding by failing to protect the integrity of American elections.

7. 17 million Americans removed from polls in two years

Missouri voter ID law requiring false statement struck down by State Supreme Court

Source / Unsplash

The fight for voting rights isn’t over.

According to the Brennan Center, around 17 million voters were removed from voter rolls from 2016 to 2018. This purge likely resulted in 1 million eligible voters being lost.

“As the country prepares for the 2020 election, election administrators should take steps to ensure that every American can cast a ballot next November. Election day is often too late to discover that a person has been wrongfully purged.”

8. Voter suppression effort by red states in overdrive since 2013

The 2020 election may experience a surge of voting with 4 million 17 year olds turning 18 prior to the election

Source: Screenshot/Time

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights shared that southern states had lost 1,200 polling locations since 2013. For example, there are now seven Georgia counties that have only one polling place for their whole region.

These states have been making it more difficult for voters since 2013 when the Supreme Court loosened voting discrimination laws.

In Texas, things look pretty grim as well. Since the Supreme Court decision, the state has lost 750 polling places which are nearly half of all the closings for the entire country.

The closures make the voting process more difficult and time-consuming for everyone.

9. The confusion lingers on in Wisconsin

Missouri voter ID law requiring false statement struck down by State Supreme Court 2

Source / Unsplash

An appeals court in Madison, Wisconsin blocked a judge’s ruling to purge more than 200,000 voters from its rolls by the Elections Commission.

Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. There is serious confusion around the case and it could cause an issue with ballot access. It especially affects the Democratic minority voters negatively.

This particular decision is pretty important. Conservative group Wisconsin Institute for Law Liberty (WILL) brought the case to Judge Paul Malloy, seeking to remove over 200,000 registered voters due to non-response to an October mailer regarding addresses changes.

Non-responding voters were flagged by the Electronic Registration Information Center as a possible move. WILL argued that in order to maintain a clean list, voters who had not responded to the mailer must be purged.

WILL plans to continue to fight the ruling.

10. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter is disappointed

Missouri voter ID law requiring false statement struck down by State Supreme Court 1

Screenshot / YouTube

In an interview, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King discussed voter suppression and its impacts on voter rights.

King stated that her late father would have been disappointed with strict voting ID requirements and voter purging efforts.

Her statements were in response to Georgia officials purging 300,000 voters from the rolls who had died, moved, or not voted since 2012. Those who appealed the bill indicated that more than 120,000 people were purged unnecessarily and should have remained on the rolls.

Voter suppression efforts like this are “alive and well,” King exclaimed.

Make sure your voice is heard on election day

You can check your own voting eligibility, find your nearest polling place, and get an absentee ballot at NASS.


You May Also Like:

Back To Front Page