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Advancement Project, ACLU sue Missouri on voting rights

Missouri Voter Protection Press Conference


For years, Missouri has tried to make it harder for people of color to vote. Today, Advancement Project’s National Office and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the state over its new and highly restrictive photo ID law. The bottom line is this: Voting should be made easier, not harder.

We are proud to file this case on behalf of the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Missouri along with the ACLU. Missouri’s case exemplifies exactly why photo ID and other efforts to make it harder to vote across the country can be so harmful. By embarking on a vote-suppressing gambit with poor preparation and inadequate funding, Missouri officials – like opponents of voting rights across the country – show how little they care about voters’ access to the ballot. Despite their repeated promises to the contrary, they were about to leave St. Louis voters without a voice.

Even though voting for a special election in St. Louis starts on June 12, the state’s election authorities have fallen drastically short of basic obligations under the law. At stake with this case, among other things, is whether St. Louis voters who do not have everything required by the new law can be shut out from the polls for a special election in St. Louis on July 11. An additional 52 Missouri counties go to the polls on August 8.

Missouri’s highly restrictive photo ID law was designed to make it harder for people to vote. Voter ID laws inevitably lead to blocking people from the ballot, especially people of color, young voters, seniors, and people with disabilities. This suppressive effect is magnified once the state does not hold its end of the bargain – hence why we need to stop Missouri’s suppressive law. Making it hard to vote is just wrong. But it is beyond unacceptable that the state of Missouri has launched a photo I.D. requirement while not even being prepared, trained, or properly funded for it.

This lawsuit represents just one battle in the fight to stop opponents of voting rights from restricting the political power of communities of color. Fueled by the work on the ground, and with your support, Advancement Project is continuing to fight attacks on the right to vote designed to curtail the growing political power of voters of color as they emerge into the new American majority. 

With your support we can secure the right to vote for communities of color in Missouri and across the country. Let’s stand together – join us.

Press release available here

View court documents:

Petition for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction

Suggestions in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction