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Missouri secretary of state seeking dismissal of voter ID lawsuit

Patrick Henry Elementary School in St. Louis.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 3:30 p.m. with ACLU comment — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against the state’s new voter ID law.

In a statement, Ashcroft said the certified results of the Aug. 8 special elections in two legislative districts showed that "Missouri’s photo voter ID law works.”

The law took effect June 1. Days later, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Advancement Project filed a lawsuit in Cole County on behalf of the Missouri NAACP and the League of Women Voters. 

The suit argued that Ashcroft’s office wasn’t fully funding the implementation of the law, which was to include “mandated funding for voter education, free voter IDs and birth certificates and training of poll workers.”

“When you look at the lawsuit that was brought against us, they never even claimed that it stopped anyone from being able to vote," Ashcroft said. "We’ve had all these elections and we’ve proven that the claims they made were without merit."

The ACLU of Missouri's legal director, Tony Rothert, said in a statement: “Results from a few, low-turnout elections this summer does not mean that the state has done its job of adequately educating voters on the new law, or provided the means for people to get their new IDs. The real threat to electoral integrity is that too many eligible voters don't vote, not that ineligble people are casting votes when they shouldn't."

Missouri is one of 33 states, many with Republican legislatures and governors, to have some sort of voter ID law which has been touted as an effort to prevent voter fraud.

Follow Marshall and Erica on Twitter: @marshallgreport and @ehunzinger

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.