The Missouri Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in an appeal that aims to remove a notary requirement for mail-in voting for the November election. In April, the Missouri NAACP, the ACLU, and three registered voters sued the state and others, arguing that the steps to vote by mail during a pandemic are unconstitutional. ACLU Foundation attorney Sophia Lin Lakin argued the case Tuesday afternoon.
The Missouri NAACP and the ACLU say a Cole County judge erroneously upheld the notarization requirement, and they express concern about a scarcity of notaries. Missouri Solicitor General D. John Sauer disagrees with that.
Counselor Sauer says invalidating the notary requirement is not realistic because voting by mail began on September 22. He says changing the rules midway through the process would subject Missouri voters to different legal requirements during the same election cycle. The ACLU disagrees with that, saying the Cole County court committed multiple errors and erroneously upheld a notarization requirement that imposes burdens on Missourians who are seeking to vote during a global pandemic.