Columbia, MO – Congressman Lacy Clay, State Senator Gina Walsh (Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 and president of the Missouri Building Trades Council), State Senator-elect Brian Williams, State Representative and Senator-elect Karla May (CWA 6300), and State Representative-elect Wiley Price IV recently called on Josh Hawley to drop his appeal of recent court decision rejecting a key portion of Missouri’s photo voter ID law and restoring voting rights in the state.
Senior Cole County Judge Richard Callahan ruled the law is unconstitutional because it creates a bureaucratic catch-22. “The affidavit plainly requires the voter to swear that they do not possess a form of personal identification approved for voting while simultaneously presenting to the election authority a form of personal identification that is approved,” he wrote.
Callahan also ruled the Secretary of State’s advertising concerning the voter photo ID requirement misled local election authorities into believing that a photo ID is the only form of identification they can accept at the polls.
Callahan’s ruling did away with a key provision of Missouri’s photo voter identification law – the requirement for voters to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury that they don’t have a form of ID authorized by the law for voting purposes – because the same law also allows voters without a driver’s license or non-driver state ID card to continue to use alternate forms of ID that previously had been allowed, such as a voter registration card, bank statement, utility bill or student ID.
Callahan said the affidavit was contradictory and misleading and should no longer be used. He also ordered Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office to stop advertising that a photo identification is required to cast a ballot.
Hawley, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, responded by quickly filing an appeal and a request for an emergency stay of the decision with the Missouri Supreme Court.
ATTEMPT TO SUPPRESS VOTER TURNOUT
Clay called Hawley’s court filing a misuse of public funds in an 11th-hour attempt to suppress voter turnout.
“Josh Hawley is choosing to use your tax dollars to file this ridiculous appeal in a last-minute effort to disenfranchise thousands of Missouri voters,” Clay said.
“Instead of stepping up to protect the voting rights of these Missourians who are most at risk of being disenfranchised, our AG, Josh Hawley, is appealing Judge Callahan’s ruling in order to suppress the vote of minorities, the disabled and the rural poor who are most likely to vote for his opponent,” Clay said.
State Representative and Senator-elect May added, “On Nov. 6, vote against any person that’s running for office that’s trying to stop you, the people – who are the government – from voting.”