JEFFERSON CITY — Election day is less than a week away, and confusion about the new photo ID law is prompting the secretary of state to weigh in before time runs out.
Both Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and the Jefferson City NAACP have similar goals: to provide resources to Missourians about what they should know before voting.
Under the new state-issued photo id law, voters need one of several forms of photo id to cast a ballot for midterms, but there are exceptions.
“You will vote, we call it a provisional ballot, it’s a ballot of the same stack as someone who brings their ID, but we don’t count it until we verify your identity,” Ashcroft said.
Secretary of state Jay Ashcroft says that verification comes as long as the signature on your ballot matches your voter registration card.
“Yup, this person’s eligible to vote, this is their signature, it matches. They just take the ballot out and then they run it through the tabulator like they would any other ballot,” he said.
This law created controversy within statewide organizations. the NAACP and league of women voters earlier filed lawsuits against the id law citing voter suppression for people of color.
“It does nothing to increase the integrity of the elections, it hurts the integrity of our elections because it’s keeping people from voting,” said Julie Allen, Elections Coordinator and Executive Board Member, Missouri NAACP.
Ashcroft argues that this law exists strictly to eliminate election fraud.
“We’ve shown that we’re able and happy to get a free id for people that need that, and even the underlying documents for free. I think it’s a great way to make sure our elections have a little more credibility and it’s a bit harder to cheat in a specific way,” he said.
Throughout complications, all groups echo the same goal- voter participation.
“Don’t get discouraged. Your vote is what’s going to make a difference and your vote is what’s going to tell these elected officials, I don't go for that. I don't agree with that. So vote,” Allen said.
There are plenty of resources online and in person up to election day. The NAACP will provide rides to the First United Methodist Church, and the Secretary of State's office will provide information to Missourians on a Monday night Facebook live.