Springfield, MO.- (6/14/17)
Missouri now requires all voters to show a state issued identification that is current to vote, but there are approximately 220,000 unregistered voters in the state, who don’t have that identification on file with the department of motor vehicles.
Denise Lieberman, the Coordinator of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition says, We know that these laws disproportionately impact voters of color, women, young voters, low wage workers, seniors, and people with disabilities”.
The new law is not being seen as a means of safety and integrity, but as a means to suppress the voting of certain people, making it harder for those groups to cast ballots.
Marlon Graves, the Vice President of the Springfield NAACP adds, “We come from a long legacy of struggle and resistance, our ancestors have given their lives to protect the right to vote, voting is the most sacred compact of democracy”.
In addition, no funding has been provided to help educate the public on the new requirements for voting, which would total over 11 million dollars.
Lieberman continued, “The allocation is deeply insufficient to ensure that all voters have the information they need to cast a ballot, or that voters are adequately assisted in getting all the underlying documents they need, and getting the identification they need to comply with this law, and for some people, those documents may not exist at all”.
“We’re trying to help the little people, and we want the little people to be recognized in all aspects” says Graves.
The voter protection coalition claims that other states which have passed similar laws confuse the voters, and deter them from participating.
“Many valid, eligible voters are kept out of their rightful place in our democracy by these photo identification requirements” Lieberman added.
Governor Greitens who supported voter id on the campaign trail says that he believes they have allocated the right amount of money to roll out the new law, but the coalition is not done fighting the law yet though. They plan to be back in court by the end of the month.