Audio: Judge strikes down key portions of Missouri’s voter ID law

Driver's License

A Missouri judge has left the state’s 2016 voter ID in place after a court challenge but has stripped several of its major provisions.



Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan summed up his decision on Missouri photo IDs by saying, “Unlike an American Express Card, you may leave home without it, at least on election day.”

A group led by the left-leaning voting rights organization Priorities USA sued to have the statute thrown out. And although Callahan declined to overturn the law, he did side with key arguments in the lawsuit.  The ruling does away with the requirement that those who don’t present photo ID at the polls sign an affidavit. It also forbids the state from advertising or distributing information that photo ID’s are required to vote.

It further bars publicizing materials that tell voters they’ll be asked to show photo ID without stipulating the other forms of ID that can be used. In his decision, Callahan said print messages issued by the state clearly lead voters to believe they must present a photo ID to vote when the state conceded no such requirement exists.

Missouri’s Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who campaigned for office on the photo voter ID law, has vowed to appeal the judge’s decision.