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Missouri’s New Voter ID Law Works in Early State Election

By Jay Ashcroft

Missouri Secretary of State

Since taking office in Janu­ary and being tasked with im­plementing the voter ID law, we have been sharing one simple, easy-to-understand message: “If you’re regis­tered to vote, you can vote.”

Missouri’s new voting re­quirements took effect on June 1, 2017, and local elec­tion authorities have held two successful elections thus far. Not one registered voter was turned away from cast­ing a ballot on election day. Our local election officials and poll workers deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.

The law, which 63 percent of Missourians supported last November, includes a provi­sion requiring the government to provide individuals without a photo ID a free government-issued non-driver license.

The law also directs my office to help secure the sup­porting documents required to obtain such an ID. These provisions were included in Missouri’s statute to ensure the law not only prohibits in­eligible voters from commit­ting vote fraud but also guar­antees all eligible voters their opportunity to vote.

Despite what you may have heard, critics of the law cannot point to one single in­dividual who will be denied their right to vote on election day. We have been aggres­sively working to train poll workers, communicate with election authorities, and in­form Missourians about the simple yet important mes­sage, “if you’re registered to vote, you can vote.”

In a July 11 election in St. Louis, about 93 percent of voters used photo IDs, 6.6 percent used voter registra­tion cards and 2.2 percent used another form of iden­tification. Out of more than 1,900 ballots cast on election day, just three provisional ballots were cast. Every bal­lot cast was counted.

In fewer than 8 weeks, we’ve almost 130 meet­ings across Missouri, cov­ering more than two-thirds of the counties in our state. We’ve helped hundreds of individuals with questions through the ShowIt2Vote Ho­tline (866-868-3245) and our website and provided tens of thou­sands of flyers and other edu­cational materials to anyone who asked.

We will continue to work diligently to protect the fun­damental right of all regis­tered Missouri voters to cast a ballot. Our job as election officials isn’t to pick winners and losers, it’s to ensure we uphold the integrity of the ballot box. We are proud to work with the men and wom­en serving our state as county clerks, election boards and poll workers, as everyone works together for successful elections in the future.

The bottom line: If you’re an eligible registered Mis­souri voter, you can vote.

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