Missouri to appeal ruling against voter ID law

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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.

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A Missouri judge has blocked election officials from enforcing parts of a voter photo identification law.

Tuesday’s ruling strikes down a requirement that a voter lacking a valid photo ID sign a sworn statement and present some other form of identification in order to cast a regular ballot.

The ruling by Senior Cole County Judge Richard Callahan also prevents the state from advertising that a photo ID is required to vote.

The permanent injunction against portions of the 2016 law comes as voters are preparing for a Nov. 6 election headlined by the race between Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger, Attorney General Josh Hawley.

The order didn’t directly address whether the secretary of state’s office could come up with a new version of the affidavit.

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