Jefferson City – Missouri voters who do not have a photo ID when they arrive at the polls will no longer have to sign a sworn statement to cast a ballot.
In an Oct. 23 ruling, Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan clarified an earlier decision that jettisoned the sworn statement as a requirement for voting on Nov. 6 without a photo ID.
Callahan said the decision “applies to all persons who act in concert and participation with the Secretary of State and the State of Missouri in administering and certifying elections within the State of Missouri, including local election authorities.”
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft had argued that an earlier Callahan decision to end the use of the affidavit made it unclear if the ruling applied at the local level.
The Missouri Supreme Court declined to overturn Callahan’s decision on Oct. 19.
“Accordingly, voters presenting a form of identification… shall be allowed to case a regular ballot without being required to sign an affidavit,” Callahan wrote.
Callahan had to clarify his earlier ruling to get Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to stop violating court order.
In a statement, Assistant house Minority Leader Gina Mitten (D-St. Louis) said “For two weeks, Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft continue to provide false information to Missouri voters about voter identification requirements in violation of a court order forbidding him from doing so. When Missouri’s top election official intentionally violates a court order so he can continue engaging in voter suppression, it calls the integrity of our elections into question.”
Contrary to what Ashcroft has been saying, Mitten said, “registered voters who don’t have a government-issued photo ID can vote using several alternatives, including a voter registration card, utility bill, bank statement or college ID. And they cannot be required to sign an affidavit to do so.
THREE WAYS TO VOTE IN MISSOURI
Under the latest decision, there are three ways to vote in Missouri.
1) Provide a Missouri driver’s license or identification card, a U.S. passport or a military ID to receive a ballot.
2) Voters without a photo ID can provide a secondary form of identification, such as a utility bill or a bank statement. Judge Callahan’s ruling strikes the need to sign a statement confirming their identity.
3) A registered voter with no form of identification can cast a provisional ballot. However, the vote will only be counted if the voter returns later with proper identification or if the election authority matches the signatures from the polling place with the signature on the voter’s registration.