SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – This week, a Cole County judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to prevent a Missouri voter ID law from impacting the upcoming mid-term elections.
“Really, it’s just going to allow the law that the legislature passed, and the governor signed earlier this year. It’s going to remain in effect,” Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller said.
Ozarks First spoke to the Springfield Chapter of the NAACP about the news.
“It is blatantly racist. It not only hurts people of color, it hurts the elderly. It hurts people with disabilities, and it hurts rural Missourians because those are the people that may not have a current picture ID,” Dee Ogilvy, a member of the chapter said.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said the ruling was appropriate.
“The judge realized the same thing that the plaintiffs realized: that they couldn’t find a single person that was stopped or impeded from voting because of this law. This law makes sure that if you’re registered, you can vote,” Ashcroft said.
The Secretary of State said the law prevents voter fraud.
“We made it a lot more difficult to vote twice. It made it easier to prosecute people that would cheat,” Ashcroft said.
Voter fraud is rare in Greene County, according to Schoeller.
“We’ve had one instance of voter fraud where somebody did a change of address back in 2015 during the municipal election. And so that’s the one documented case that was prosecuted,” Schoeller said.
“We made sure that when election night is over, regardless of who wins or loses, which items fail or pass the people, this state can have trust in the election and know that they made the difference,” Ashcroft added.
With less than a month to the mid-terms, the Springfield NAACP said voters need to get ready.
“Check your ID right now and see that it is your valid current government ID,” Ogilvy said. “That could be your passport, your driver’s license, or your non-driver’s license.”