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AG Hawley files for stay in voter ID decision

Attorney General Josh Hawley has filed for a stay of a Tuesday decision by Cole County Judge Richard Callahan ruling that parts of Missouri's voter-photo ID law are unconstitutional.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has filed an appeal of the ruling by a Cole County judge declaring parts of a voter-photo identification law unconstitutional.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said in a statement that the ruling "injected mass confusion" into the voting process, since most election poll workers have already been trained to follow the photo ID protocol.

Under Missouri's voter photo ID law, voters who lack a state-approved photo ID, such as a driver license, military ID or passport, can cast a ballot with a non-photo ID, such as a voter registration card or a utility bill, if they sign a sworn statement saying they understand the law but lack approved identification documents.

On Tuesday, Senior Cole County Judge Richard Callahan said the law is unconstitutional because it creates a bureaucratic catch-22. "The affidavit plainly requires the voter to swear that they do not possess a form of personal identification approved for voting while simultaneously presenting to the election authority a form of personal identification that is approved," he wrote.

Callahan also ruled the Secretary of State's advertising concerning the voter photo ID requirement misled local election authorities into believing that a photo ID is the only form of identification they can accept at the polls.

Thursday morning, Attorney General Josh Hawley filed an appeal of Callahan's ruling and also filed for an emergency stay of the decision, according to Hawley spokesperson Mary Compton. The stay will not be ruled on until after Oct. 16, according to Compton.

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