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Politically Speaking: Ashcroft talks about ballots, voting and marijuana

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, in a photo taken at St. Louis Public Radio on June 28, 2018
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann welcome Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft – who’s in the midst of a flurry of pre-election activity.

A Republican, Ashcroft was elected during the state’s GOP election landslide of 2016. That year, Missouri voters also approved a photo-ID requirement at the polls.

Ashcroft emphasized that the requirement has wiggle room to allow people who don’t have a government-issued photo ID to still vote, using the state’s old list of allowed IDs.

And he noted that his office is offering free state-issued photo IDs to anybody who needs one. The state also is required by law to help people obtain any necessary records – such as birth certificates – that they need to obtain the photo ID.

Among Ashcroft’s other observations during the podcast:

  • He believes that potential vote fraud is a serious matter, and that photo IDs should not discourage people from voting;
  • He notes that many election jurisdictions around the state are upgrading their voting systems in preparation for this year’s elections. That includes a new form of touchscreen machine that prints out a copy of how a person voted, so they can verify that their votes were accurately recorded;
  • He believes there likely will be five issues on the November ballot, including three dealing with some form of legalization of marijuana. Ashcroft predicts that the pot results will likely end up in court, if voters approve more than one of the measures – which have different provisions.

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Jay Ashcroft on Twitter: @MissouriSOS

Music - "This Land is Your Land," Boston Pops Orchestra

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.