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Missouri’s Voter ID Law Can Remain In Place For Midterms, Judge Says

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A Missouri judge dismissed a lawsuit from several left-wing groups on Wednesday that challenged the state’s recently enacted voter ID requirements, paving the way for the law to remain in effect for the 2022 midterm elections.

Written by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem, the ruling stipulates that the challenge to the law in question brought by the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP and League of Women Voters (LWV) against the state “fails to allege facts establishing standing” and that “Missouri voters do not have a legally protectable interest in avoiding the everyday burdens of getting an expired license renewed.”

“These allegations are insufficient to establish representational standing,” Beetem wrote. “As this Court stated in its prior judgment, ‘Plaintiffs … lack associational standing because they fail to identify any member of their organizations who has direct standing to challenge the laws at issue’ … NAACP’s and LWV’s decision to allege facts about their own members ‘upon information and belief’ demonstrates the speculative nature of these allegations.”

Passed by the Missouri legislature in May and signed into law by GOP Gov. Mike Parson in June, HB 1878 mandates that all Missouri voters “shall provide a form of personal photo identification that is consistent” with state law.

In their complaint filed back in August, the NAACP and LWV alleged that the voter ID requirement disproportionately impacts voters from populations who face “significant barriers” when it comes to voting, such as “racial minorities, people living in poverty,” and “Missourians returning from incarceration,” among others.

In response to the Wednesday ruling, Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft celebrated Beetem’s decision, saying in a statement that he agrees “with the court’s decision to dismiss this lawsuit since not even the plaintiffs could find a single individual who would be prevented from voting.”

“Missouri elections will continue to be safe, secure, and accurate as we prepare for November,” he said.


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