Missouri judge rules election officials can’t push ID requirement

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri’s secretary of state says he plans to appeal a court ruling blocking key portions of the state’s voter photo ID law ahead of the November elections.

Senior Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan issued a permanent injunction Tuesday barring a requirement that voters lacking valid photo IDs sign a sworn statement and present another form of ID to cast regular ballots.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says he believes a higher court will overturn the decision.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of voters by the liberal advocacy group Priorities USA. Chairman Guy Cecil praised the ruling as “an important victory for voting rights” that will ensure elections are “open and accessible to every eligible voter.”

The 2016 law was enacted when the Republican-led Legislature overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.