Missouri’s new voter ID law is in full effect.
What documents do you need to ensure that your vote will be counted come election day? The man to ask will be visiting the Kansas City area on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft will be making stops in Kansas City, Riverside and Independence in an effort to alleviate any confusion about the new law. The August ballot will be the first time local voters will need to comply, so understanding what’s required is essential before you go to the polls.
Ashcroft began touring the state in June, shortly after the law went into effect.
Unfortunately, the national conversation about voting issues in recent weeks has left plenty of would-be voters discouraged and confused.
Ashcroft’s counterpart in Kansas, Kris Kobach, is vice chairman of the president’s advisory commission on election integrity. Not surprisingly, Kobach spurred bipartisan complaints with his request for data on all registered voters — a controversial move aimed at bolstering his widely disputed contention that voter fraud is rampant in U.S. elections.
Thousands of people have threatened to cancel their voter registrations in defiance. And the Electronic Privacy Information Center sued, worried that Kobach would not protect the data.
Whatever your feelings about the commission’s efforts, now is not the time to quit on democracy. Participate and make your voice heard.
Here are the basics of what the new Missouri voter ID law entails: Registered voters will be required to provide a Missouri driver’s license, a Missouri non-driver’s license, a passport or a military ID to vote. Or they can present a voter registration card, an ID from a Missouri university, college, vocational or technical school, a utility bill with their address, or a bank statement, among other documents. This second set of options requires voters to sign a statement of eligibility as well.
The third option covers registered voters who show up to vote without any identification. They can vote on a provisional ballot but must return to their polling place and show a photo ID before their vote will count, or their signature must match the one in the voter registry.
Questions? Show up Tuesday, and ask Secretary Ashcroft.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Tuesday appearances
1 p.m. The Whole Person, 3710 Main St., Kansas City
3 p.m. Mid-Continent Public Library-Riverside Branch, 2700 N.W. Vivion Road, Riverside
6 p.m. Community Services League Building, 10725 E. U.S. 24, Independence.