Missouri’s new voter ID law shouldn’t deter anyone from casting a ballot, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said Tuesday in Kansas City.
Ashcroft spoke at The Whole Person on Main Street as part of a statewide tour to promote the new law, which went into effect June 1. The law requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls to cast a ballot.
The issue has been contentious: Supporters say it will cut down on fraud and improve trust in the election process. Opponents say it will disenfranchise people who often don’t have a government-issued photo ID, such as minority voters and college students.
Photo IDs include a Missouri driver’s license, government-issued ID, passport or military ID.
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People without a photo ID can still vote, Ashcroft said. To vote without a photo ID, you can:
▪ Show another form of identification, such as a bank statement or a paycheck, and sign a statement confirming your identity.
▪ Cast a provisional ballot. That ballot will only be counted if the voter comes back to show a photo ID or if the voter’s signature matches the one in the voter registry.
The state is required to provide free government-issued photo IDs for voters who do not already have one and submit a request for one.
In June the American Liberties Civil Union and the Advancement Project filed suit against the state, claiming Missouri has not provided mandated funding to supply photo IDs and educate voters about the new voter ID law.
Ashcroft said Tuesday people who opt to show a non-photo ID and sign the statement will get a letter from the state asking if they need help getting a government-issued photo ID.
Ashcroft answered several questions about how to get a government-issued ID.
Documents required to get the ID include proof of name and place of birth, proof of a Missouri address and a Social Security number. Voters who don’t have a copy of their birth certificate can order one from the Vital Records department, Ashcroft said.
Voters can go through the process of getting a government-issued ID on their own, but Ashcroft urged people to call the Secretary of State’s office for help. The office has a hotline for people who need help with getting an ID: (866) 868-3245.
Kansas City’s next election is Aug. 8.