Secretary of State looking to appeal voter ID law decision

A requirement that Missouri voters show photo identification at the polls is set to take effect. (File)

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft made a statement Wednesday morning regarding a Cole County judge, who ruled affidavits provided to voters who lack a photo ID are legally contradictory and misleading.

The statement said the following:

"The timing of this ruling is unduly creating mass confusion. Judge Callahan's decision directs the STATE not to use the statement; however, local election authorities enforce the statement requirement and so it is not clear if they are bound by the judge's decision. The Secretary of State is working with the Attorney General's office to seek a stay and appeal the decision.To be clear, many local election authorities have already trained poll workers---as part of ID option 2---to require voters to sign a statement. The judges decision creates confusion for voters as well as local election authorities."

Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer said he is awaiting the decision in order to move forward with voting procedures. He said they are working on getting all of the machines programmed and updated, but that could change depending on the ruling.

"All of our poll pads and stuff will have to be reprogrammed and we are only 30 days away from the election so we need to get something decided on that," he said.

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. Senior Judge Richard Callahan ruled this puts voters in a bureaucratic catch-22.

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