St. Louis’ special election to be first under Missouri’s new voting laws
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - The special election in St. Louis Tuesday will be the first in the state of Missouri under new voting laws.
In August, a law requiring voters to show government-issued identification when voting went into effect in Missouri. The ID must be issued by the State of Missouri or the federal government, have a picture and cannot be expired.
The City of St. Louis has an election Tuesday for positions such as the board of aldermen president.
“Any time there’s confusion, it’s an opportunity to have more outreach with people,” said Ben Borgmeyer, the democratic director for the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of St. Louis. “Regardless of ID or not, if you’re a registered voter on Election Day, if you show up at a polling place, you will have an option to vote whether it’s sticking the ballot into the ballot box or a provisional ballot.”
Borgmeyer told News 4 the provisional ballot is for registered voters without IDs. A bipartisan team will review the ballot to ensure the voter is registered. Once that is confirmed, the vote is counted.
Another part of the new law is that voters don’t need an excuse to cast an absentee ballot two weeks before the election, but an ID is still needed for absentee voting.
“It’s ultimately a good thing because it gives voters more options on how to vote,” Borgmeyer added.
Several nonprofits are hosting ID clinics to provide people with the opportunity to get state-issued IDs. The Ashrei Foundation is hosting one at the Hub at 3000 East Prairie Ave. in north St. Louis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We are trying to get to the people, the working poor, especially who don’t have the time and aren’t given a day off of work to stand in the long lines at the DMV,” said Rabbi Susan Talve, founder of the Ashrei Foundation.
Talve is concerned the new law could limit access to the ballot box.
“We trained over 60 volunteers so that we could do clinics,” she said. “No cost. Childcare available. We will print out everything you need.”
There are pending lawsuits against the voter ID law by the Missouri NAACP and the League of Women Voters that can impact November’s Election.
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